Weightlifting drew to a close at London 2012 with a total of 44 Olympic and world records broken during an exhilarating competition.
Men’s Super Heavyweight Behdad Salimikordasiabi, from Iran, claimed the final gold of 15 medals awarded at ExCeL over 11 days.
The positive reception given to Weightlifting by the crowd, as well as the smooth management and execution of the events, has left an impression on the sport’s controlling body.
The International Weightlifting Federation said in a statement: ‘We are entirely happy and satisfied with these Olympic Games at all levels and in all respects.
‘The organisation overall, in particular within ExCeL and Weightlifting, was really impeccable. The technical facilities, everything was to perfection.’
Salimikordasiabi’s triumph in the men’s +105kg confirmed his status as ‘the strongest lifter in the world’ as he added the Olympic Games crown to his reigning world and Asian titles.
In the heaviest women’s category, the +75kg, China’s Zhou Lulu took gold in a dramatic tussle with Russia’s Tatiana Kashirina that saw almost all the relevant Olympic and world records smashed.
DPR Korea’s Om Yun Chol, competing in the men’s 56kg, became the first person to claim gold from the B group and only the fifth man in history to lift triple his own body weight, while Ilya Ilyin (men’s 94kg) was the only lifter at London 2012 able to retain his Olympic title.
It proved to be one of four golds for Kazakhstan, who, along with DPR Korea (three) challenged China’s dominance as the leading Weightlifting superpower.
China’s tally of five golds did not match the eight they managed at Beijing 2008, but their women shone across a range of weight categories, alongside some memorable victories for other nations.
Poland’s Adrian Edward Zielinski claimed the narrowest of victories at the Games after he emerged triumphant ahead of Russia’s Apti Aukhadov in the men’s 85kg by the virtue of just 130g in bodyweight after both tied on a total of 385kg.
And it became evident afterwards by comparing the pair’s food intake that gold and silver may have been separated by as little as a chocolate bar ahead of the pre-competition weigh-in.