Warsaw, Poland – When Le Maosheng (China) won the snatch in the 62-kg category at the World Weightlifting Championships, it seemed like a given that he was on route to two more gold medals.
Le Maosheng holds the world record in the clean and jerk, at 182.5 kg, which he just set at the Asian Games. Le Maosheng's gold medal came from a 140-kg snatch; Leonidas Sabanis (Greece) picked up the silver with the same weight, and Im Yong Su (People's Republic of Korea) got the bronze, also with the same weight, as only body weight separated the snatch medalists. Su Feixiang China), after missing 140 twice, had made a bid for the gold, going after 145 on his third attempt, but missed it—to bomb out in the snatch.
Showing that predictions aren't always easy, Im Yong Su ended winning the gold in the clean and jerk, with a 175-kg lift, followed by Stefan Georgiev (Bulgaria) at 172.5 and Le Maosheng at 170 kg. Le Maosheng racked 175 on his second attempt and struggled mightily to stand up with it, but couldn't, and on his third attempt he didn't get as far as he had on his second. Im Yong Su ended the night with the gold in the total (315), and Le Maosheng beat Georgiev on body weight for the silver medal, each having a 310-kg total. Su Feixiang, after missing all his snatches, must have been expecting to be competitive in the clean and jerk, because he opened with 170 kg, but missed it three times.