Chiang Nien-Hsin and Bozhidar Andreev Chiang grab weightlifting gold

Chinese Taipei and Bulgaria won the two weightlifting gold medals on a day that featured a whistling competitor and celebratory backflips. Chiang Nien-Hsin (TPE) was never seriously challenged in winning gold in the women’s 58kg, before Bozhidar Andreev (BUL) dominated the clean and jerk category to take the men’s 69kg title a couple of hours later.

Having recorded 88kg, Chiang had a 3kg lead on her Russian opponent Anastasiia Petrova (RUS) after the snatch and the diminutive lifter opened up a wide margin between her and the remainder of the field in the clean and jerk.

Chiang had 107 kilos on the bar with her first lift, 111 on her second and 115 on her third, finishing with a combined total of 203kg, compared to Petrova’s 195kg, who took silver.  “I felt very calm,’’ Chiang said. “This is very moving.”  Petrova never expected to make it to the podium and was delighted with her performance, saying simply: “I am very happy.’’

Argentina’s Sasha Nievas was fourth after the snatch, 1kg behind third place Acchedya Jagaddhita (INA), but Nievas put 95kg into the air with her first lift in the clean and jerk compared to 92 by Jagddhita.

Nievas then put the heat on the Indonesia athlete when she raised 100kg with her second lift and the bronze medal was hers when Jagaddhita missed on two attempts, for 96kg and 97kg. Nievas finished with a total of 178kg.

The men took centre stage in the later session and Russia’s Viacheslav Iarkin had a 1kg lead over his Bulgarian opponent after the snatch category.  But Andreev dominated the clean and jerk and his final lift of 167kg sealed the championship. His total was 300kg, while Iarkin claimed silver with 294.

Colombia’s Andres Caicedo Piedrahita, who let out a loud whistle just before each of his lifts, took the bronze with a total of 290kg. Much to the delight of the crowd, Mikhail Makeyev (KAZ) and Cameron Mctaggart (NZL) completed backflips in celebration of their final lifts.