Eko Yuli Irawan: I'll keep chasing Olympic gold with the love and support of Indonesia

After winning his sixth SEA Games title in Hanoi, Vietnam, the four-time Olympic weightlifting medallist sets his eyes on Paris 2024 to cap off an extraordinary career.

By Ken Browne

Indonesia's weightlifting star Eko Yuli Irawan is one of the most successful athletes in his sport.

Since starting his senior career in 2006, he hasn't stopped collecting accolades: His impressive achievements include four Olympic medals (two silvers and two bronzes) and one world title in 2018.

Those four Olympic medals stretch back to Beijing 2008 and he's been on the podium at every Games since.

The latest addition to his trophy cabinet came from the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

On 20 May Irawan claimed his sixth title in the biennial multisport event by taking gold in the men's 61kg class: the 32-year-old tallied a total lift of 290kg from snatch (135kg) and clean and jerk (155kg), with Aznil Bin Bidin Muhammad of Malaysia claiming silver (287kg) and Vietnamese lifter Ngoc Trung Nguyen (286kg) settling for bronze.

"Obviously, I am pleased and grateful to have this opportunity to present another medal to Indonesia, " said Irawan after his winning performance.

The Tokyo 2020 silver medallist has taken part in four Summer Olympic Games and is now ready to cap off his extraordinary career at Paris 2024.

"I just want to achieve the best possible results, I will give my best for Indonesia," he said.

"My goal has always been to win a gold medal in the Olympics. I haven’t fulfilled my goal yet, so I will keep chasing it - but that said, the next Olympics might be my last one."

Irawan's successful journey is not over yet, but he wanted to acknowledge the support he's received over these years:

"My coaches, family, the officials from the Indonesia Weightlifting Federation (PB PABSI) - they all played a part in where I am now.

"I am grateful for their (Indonesian fans) support, for their enthusiasm in supporting all the Indonesian athletes. Their support means so much, and it makes us want to give the best for them and Indonesia."

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