Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: August 1, 2012
Date Finished: August 1, 2012
Format: Total of best lifts in snatch and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.
China made up for not having a favorite in the women’s middleweight weightlifting event at the 2012 Summer Olympics by having two in the men’s version. The first was Lu Xiaojun, 2009 and 2011 World Champion, 2010 runner-up, 2011 Asian Champion, and 2008 runner-up. The other, Lu Haojie, was six years younger than his compatriot and a potential successor, having won the most recent Chinese National Championships. They would face a challenge, however, from defending Olympic Champion Sa Jae-Hyeok of South Korea, although his best finish in a major international event since had been third at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Asian Championships (the latter in the light-heavyweight category).
The field was whittled down before the event started, when Hysen Pulaku of Albania became the first participant of the Games to test positive for a banned substance and be removed from the festivities. Then Gevorg Davtyan of Armenia, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, twice European Champion (2008, 2010) and once runner-up (2007), and 2010 World Champion and 2009 runner-up, failed the weigh-in and was withdrawn from the competition. Nearing the end of the snatch portion Sa, already in first place, tried to increase his lead with a lift of 162 kg, but dislocated his shoulder in the attempt and was unable to complete the event. Even a score of 158 kg would have been sufficient to remain in third place, but it would have been nowhere near the massive lifts of Lu Haojie and Lu Xiaojun, who had scored 170 and 175 kg respectively, and the latter of whom broke his own world record by 1 kilogram. There was confusion in the snatch with Lu Haojie waving his third attempt and Lu Xiaojun not realizing that his teammate had done so, thereby failing to appear for his third lift (which would have been an attempt at 177 kg).
Chatuphum Chinnawong of Thailand’s third-place lift of 157 kg meant that the Chinese competitors were essentially untouchable on the podium. Lu Haojie lifted 190 kg in his first attempt to take an early lead, and was followed in this feat by Iván Cambar of Cuba, winner of the event at the last two Pan American Games. Chinnawong moved into second place by lifting 191 kg while Lu Haojie, aiming to try that weight in his next attempt, was unable to continue after suffering a wrist injury on his previous lift. Lu Haojie would remain in contention, however, having posted one successful score in the clean and jerk. Cambar’s next lift was a successful 194 kg, returning to second place, although still eleven points behind Lu Haojie. Lu Xiaojun then arrived with an opening 195 kg lift, giving him a total of 370 points, which guaranteed him the gold medal, as he was ten points ahead of his injured compatriot and twenty-one ahead of Cambar. Chinnawong attempted to lift the same weight and enter the bronze medal position, but failed in both attempts and remained in fourth. Ibrahim Ramadan of Egypt followed with an attempt at 197 kg, which would have put him three points ahead of Cambar and onto the podium, but was unsuccessful and forced to make due with fifth place. Cambar did not even bother to take his final attempt, settling for bronze, while Lu Xiaojun used has last two turns to lift 204 kg and best his own world record for total points by one.
|10||Jack Oliver||21||Great Britain||GBR||310|
|AC||Sa Jae-Hyeok||27||South Korea||KOR||DNF|