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Nigeria wins gold, India far behind

All African Games champion Edward Jacob staged a remarkable recovery to clinch gold in the 85 kg men's weightlifiting event.

othersports Updated: Oct 28, 2003 21:11 IST

All African Games champion Edward Jacob staged a remarkable recovery to clinch gold in the 85 kg men's weightlifiting championship at the inaugural Afro-Asian Games while Indian challenge just submerged in low waters at the Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy indoor stadium here on Tuesday.

After finishing second in the snatch with a tally of 150 kg, Jacob lifted the best of 195 kg in clean and jerk and the combined effort of 345 dashed the hopes of Iran's fancied Ghorbani Shahrouz who aggregated 342.5 to take the silver.

Kazakistan's Akramzhan Khalmatov won the bronze.

The small Nigerian contingent in the stadium erupted into a jig and joy after Jacob lifted the 195 kg weight with precision. Jacob, who runs a furniture shop at Edo in Nigeria, is a professional weightlifter and won gold in the 85 kg category at Abuja.

The 19-year old maintained low key in the snatch while it appeared like an Iran-Khazakstan tussle initially.

Jacob failed to lift 145 in the first attempt but succeeded in the second and improved to 150 in the snatch while Ghorbani took off with 150 kg and finished at 157.5. The Khazak lifter settled at 152.5 kg.

The clean and jerk event had seen fortunes oscillate and the lifters increase the stakes with Ghorbani lifting 180 kgs in the first and fumbling at 185 in the second only to come clean in the last attempt.

The Nigerian sprang a surprise when he asked for 185 kgs in the first round and held it to the jury's positive nod.

Khazak lifter had put in his weight by clearing 190 kg in his third attempt and Jacob the pro who flew straight from the Abuja glory, sought 195 kg leaving the near packed auditorium spellbound.

Thunderous applause sprang from all quarters once he cleared the top weight with his compatriots breaking into a dance and song and the young boys from the state sports school, (weightlifting discipline) could not hide their joy.

He did not opt for the third round as it was not necessary.

Mohamad Zakir of India at the bottom with a total tally of 310 kg, 135 from snatch and 175 from clean and jerk event.

Result: 85 kg men: 1-Edward Jacob (Ngr) 345kg (150, 195), 2-Ghorbani Shahrouz (Iri) 342.5 kg (157.5, 185), Akramzhan Khalmatov (Kzk) 335 kg (145, 190).

First Published: Oct 28, 2003 21:11 IST