Russia’s Khetag Khuvgaev clinched gold in the men’s 85kg weightlifting at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games on 22 August. He claimed afterwards that victory had never been in doubt. “It was easy. I wasn’t worried. I knew I was going to win,” he said.
Khuvgaev’s confidence was well founded on an evening when both he, and women’s +63kg champion Duanganksorn Chaidee (THA), ran out comfortable winners.
The Russian never looked in danger and he finished with a combined lift of 355kg, which was 34kg more than his closest competitor. He had dominated from the moment he made his first lift – 150kg in the snatch, 10kg more than anyone else in the first round.
Farkhodbek Sobirov (UZB) clinched the silver medal with a lift of 174kg in the clean and jerk to finish with a total of 321kg. Mohamed Shosha (EGY) used his last lift of the night, 178kg in the clean and jerk, to squeeze past Reza Beiralvand (IRI) to take the bronze with a 318kg total, one up on the fourth place finisher.
In the women’s competition, Chaidee also won gold by some distance. Her total of 244kg was 16kg more than her closest challenger. “I expected to win a medal but not the gold,” a beaming Chaidee said afterwards. “I think the people of Thailand will be very happy with my result.”
Svetlana Shcherbakova (RUS) and Tatyana Kapustina (KAZ) tied in second place with 228kg, with the Russian taking the silver based on body weight, which is the tiebreaker. She tipped the scales at 69.28kg compared to 84.08 for the Kazakh.
Ecuador’s Lisseth Betzaida Ayovi Cabezas was within striking distance of a medal after the snatch, but struggled in the clean and jerk and wound up in fourth place. She was sobbing uncontrollably after the competition and a dozen Ecuador athletes came to her rescue, forming a circle around their team-mate and giving her a group hug.