Olympic weightlifting: Polish underdog bags gold

London: Poland`s Adrian Edward Zielinski has won the gold medal in weightlifting men`s 85kg category with a total of 385kg.

Zielinski, 23, standing in the third place with the snatch of 174kg, showed off his strength in clean-and-jerk with the final attempt of 211kg to take the gold away from 19-year-old Russian Apti Aukhadov, by virtue of his lighter bodyweight, as both athletes totalled 385kg.

"I was sure I was going to get a medal. But in the last lift I felt a second strength so I just decided to go for it," said Zielinski on his last lift.

Zielinski won the world title in 2010 with 383kg and this year`s Polish championships with an outstanding total of 395kg. However, he did this in the 94kg category, weighing about 5kg above his usual limit.

The night was not for event favourites. Iranian lifter Kianoush Rostami, 2011 world champion, who lifted 399kg total in the national team trials, managed only the first attempt of snatch and clean-and jerk, took the bronze medal with 380kg in total.

Chinese lifter Lu Yong, defending Olympic champion, led in snatch with 178kg but was unable to stay in top gear and eliminated for three no-lifts in clean-and-jerk.

Other pre-competition favourites who failed to register a total included Andrei Rybakou of Belarus, Olympic silver medallist in 2004 and 2008, and Asian champion Sourab Moradi of Iran, neither of whom managed to complete a successful snatch attempt.

Earlier in the Excel arena, Kazakhstan weightlifter Svetlana Podobedova won the gold medal in women`s 75kg category with a total of 291kg. Russian lifter Natalya Zabolotnaya won the silver and Belarus lifter Iryna Kulesha bagged the bronze.

IANS

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