Ukraine's Torokhtiy wins heavyweight gold

Ukraine's Torokhtiy wins heavyweight gold
By Eurosport

07/08/2012 at 02:59Updated 07/08/2012 at 06:42

Ukraine's Oleksiy Torokhtiy capitalised on the absence of leading rivals to win Olympic gold in the 105kg weightlifting division, beating off the challenge of Iran's Navab Nasirshelal.

Spectators hoping for a repeat of the head-to-head between Russia's Khadzhimurat Akkaev and Dmitriy Klokov, who came first and second at the world championships last year, were left disappointed when both athletes withdrew late due to injury.

That left Torokhtiy free to take top spot with a total of 412kg, consisting of a 185kg snatch lift and a 227kg clean and jerk, that put him just 1kg ahead of silver medallist Nasirshelal. The bronze medal went to Bartlomiej Bonk of Poland.

Despite entering the competition in the shadow of the Russian pair, Torokhtiy said he arrived in London with serious ambitions of a medal.

"I didn't come here as a tourist, I came here as a person who has a dream," he said.

"Before the Olympic games in 2008 I dreamt about taking part in this Olympics. That came true but then I had a new dream to get to the podium - then I was indifferent which place I got."

Torokhtiy's chances of fulfilling that dream improved when experienced Polish lifter, and 2010 world champion, Marcin Dolega bowed out of the event early after failing three attempts to complete a 190 kg snatch lift in the first round.

Nevertheless, he faced a tough battle with Iranian Nasirshelal who failed in the final round with the last clean and jerk lift of the competition at 227kg that would have given him the gold.

Underlining the absence of the category's top lifters, the winning total was 18kg under the weight Akkaev lifted to win the world title last year and below that of gold medal winner Ilya Ilyin who lifted 418 kg to win the 94 kg weight class on Saturday.