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Aussie Kelly crowned Commonwealth's strongest man

Australia's Damon Kelly was crowned the Commonwealth's strongest man on Monday when he clinched gold in the super-heavyweight weightlifting final.

other Updated: Oct 11, 2010 21:54 IST

Australia's Damon Kelly was crowned the Commonwealth's strongest man on Monday when he clinched gold in the super-heavyweight weightlifting final.

The 26-year-old, trailing to tournament favourite Itte Detenamo, had to produce the performance of his life in the second session of the +105kg category and duly obliged, breaking his own record in the clean and jerk.

"I just did whatever I had to do to get gold," said Kelly, as he posed for pictures lifting spectators' children.

"I thought I'd have a crack at the record when I could."

The lift gave him the title on bodyweight with a career-best combined result of 397kg, the same as silver medallist Detenamo of Nauru, who was given second by virtue of being three kilos heavier.

Detenamo had breezed into first place in the snatch, lifting 179kg seemingly with muscle to spare.

But Kelly looked every inch as formidable, with three easy lifts for 176kg that left some spectators wondering if he should have been more ambitious.

Kelly was in the silver medal position going into the second session, 3kg behind Detenamo and 8kg ahead of eventual bronze medallist George Kobaladze of Canada.

Kobaladze ratcheted up the tension with a new clean and jerk record lift of 218kg -- first called as a foul before the decision was overturned to jubilant applause from the crowd.

But Kelly, a quantity surveyor, ran away with the session, lifting 3kg more than his two rivals to take back his record.

It was sweet revenge for Kelly, who was runner-up to his rival in the Oceania Championships in May when the Nauruan posted a 397kg total, 5kg above Kelly's personal best.

Kelly took silver and Detenamo bronze in Melbourne in 2006, behind another Australian Chris Rae, who won gold with a 388kg total but was not on the Delhi team.

Crowd favourite Sarabjit got the biggest applause of the night, lifting easily three times in the snatch and finishing the session third on 169kg.

But the Indian got nowhere near lifting 210kg at three attempts in a calamitous second session, throwing away his chance of a medal.

One surprise early exit was Corran Hocking, 30, the Commonwealth record holder at snatch and one of the favourites in the contest.

Hocking needed to be helped up after his second fail at 172kg and then retired through injury.

"In the first lift I felt it a bit, in the second I hurt it a bit," he said. "I think it's a soft tissue injury. This was always going to be my last competition, so this is it for me."