Bold move pays off for 77kg gold medal winner Nijat Rahimov

Bold move pays off for gold medal winner Rahimov

Kazakhstan’s Nijat Rahimov shattered the clean and jerk world record to take gold in the men’s 77-kilogram weightlifting class.

With reigning champion Lyu Xiaojun of China looking a surefire bet for gold, Rahimov took the audacious step of moving up 12 kilograms on his second clean and jerk attempt for a world-record 214.

That gave him a total of 379, equal with Lyu. Rahimov won thanks to weighing in lower for the competition. Lyu took silver.

Rahimov served a doping ban between 2013 and 2015 and had been in doubt for the Olympics after the International Weightlifting Federation tried to exclude the entire Kazakh team over repeated doping positives, but the procedure was not completed in time for Rio.

Bronze went to Egyptian Mohamed Mahmoud on 361.

Armenia’s Andranik Karapetyan had been second after the snatch but an arm injury during a lift left him screaming in pain and he had to withdraw.

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