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Australia lift three golds

30 July 2002

Yourik Sarkisian (AUS), one of the genuine legends of weightlifting, put down another significant marker by capturing three gold medals in the 62kg category.

Yourik Sarkisian

Triple gold medallist Yourik Sarkisian

Sarkisian, who will be 41 next month, saw off the challenges of younger competitors with a concentrated performance which produced some animated reactions as he celebrated his advantage over his rivals and, finally, the thrill of overall victory.

Three silver medals went to Krishnan Madasamy (IND), 28, and three bronze medals to 32-year-old Marcus Stephen (NRU).

In the overall category, Sarkisian lifted 277.5 kg followed by Madasamy on 267.5 and Stephen on 265.

In the snatch, Sarkisian started lifting at 120kg and progressed to 125 by his third lift. Stephen went to 122.5 but had one ‘no lift’ which allowed Madasamy, whose best was 117.5, to take the silver.

In clean and jerk, Stephen failed in a late attempt to lift 155, a value which Sarkisian achieved with his third lift . Madasamy attempted 162.5 without success and had to be content with 150.

Sarkisian celebrated in style every step of the way and, when the competition was over, vaulted out of the arena in salute of his success.

An ecstatic Sarkisian said: “I’m pleased to have turned the tables on Marcus (Stephen). It’s ironic though because I thought I had a better chance of winning four years ago. I’ve come into this competition nursing knee and arm injuries and the most I expected was the bronze”

He said his inspiration came from: “Just before I went out for my first lift my coach told me to do this one for my son. The second time it was for my wife, the third for my mother, the fourth for Australia. The fifth he said was for the Porsche that would be supplied by my sponsors. By the time the sixth came round he’d run out of things to say. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t lift it!”

Marcus Stephen said: “I’m pretty satisfied with how it went. I retired for two years and only came back because we’ve got a very inexperienced team.

“I only had three months to prepare and had to lose 20kg which was hardly ideal. I knew the weights that would win but I just couldn’t make them on the night.”

Info News Service/mb/kt/jdc/bn/pjt

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