Suleymanoglu Strikes Out, Pechalov Pounces on the Gold

(Sydney) Going for an unprecedented fourth Olympic gold medal, Turkey's Naim Suleymanoglu came up empty in today's 62-kg men's category. Suleymanoglu, the only person to win three Olympic golds, missed 145 kg three times in the snatch, and was out of the competition. Suleymanoglu's first two attempts weren't close, and on his third, he made a Herculean effort, but to no avail. Obviously disappointed, he handled the defeat with a great display of sportsmanship and a wave that might have signaled a final retirement.

Meanwhile, Pechalov (Croatia) snatched 150 and, as it turned out, locked up the gold with his opening clean and jerk of 175 kg. Sabanis (Greece) was good for the silver with 147.5/170. Pechalov went on to take a huge 185 on his second attempt in the clean and jerk, and after a tough clean, missed the jerk. He passed on his third.

Unlike yesterday, when Mutlu dominated the 56-kg category, the atmosphere today was charged with excitement. Mutlu snatched a world record 138 kg and cleaned and jerked 167.5. Ivan Ivanov (Bulgaria) won the silver medal yesterday, via 130/162.5 and Wenxiong Wu (China) got the bronze medal with his 125/162.5 performance.

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