TOKYO – The only way Lasha Talakhadze wasn’t winning the Olympic super-heavyweight competition was if he missed the bus.
But the Georgian weightlifter didn’t just win – he broke three world records on his way to lifting nearly 1,100 pounds.
The five-time world champion and defending Rio Olympic gold medalist set new world records in Wednesday’s +109 kg final in the snatch (223 kg) and clean & jerk (265 kg) for a total lift of 488 kg – or just more than 1,075 pounds.
“My coaches, my trainers, they are doing everything and they are giving the strength to go to the proper direction,” Talakhadze said.
Talakhadze did not make his first attempt in either lift until after all other competitors were done. He came into the snatch at 208 kg, which was 8 kg more than any weightlifter attempted. And he did not make his first attempt on the clean & jerk until 245 kg, or four more than any competitor.
That meant he made three consecutive lifts in each round, and he did not miss any of his six attempts. He set new Olympic records with each lift and broke his own world records on each lift by one kilo on his final attempt.
Talakhadze has won every major competition he’s entered since returning from a doping suspension in 2015, a streak that includes five European titles as well.
For all he accomplished, Talakhadze is not done. At 27, he’s aiming to be back on an Olympic platform in three years.
“It will be of course one of my goals to set as many records as possible,” he said. “I will take part in the Paris Olympic Games, of course. This is my major goal.”