Tokyo Olympics: David Liti impresses as Georgian smashes records in men’s super heavyweight weightlifting

David Liti was successful with a 178kg snatch in the men's 109kg  weightlifting.

Seth Wenig/AP

David Liti was successful with a 178kg snatch in the men’s 109kg weightlifting.

Kiwi David Liti must have been wondering, like many others, what he was witnessing as Lasha Talakhadze heaved his way to a world record and Olympic gold in the 109kg+ weightlifting division.

Liti’s own efforts in finishing fifth in the superheavyweight division were admiral, but overshadowed by the giant Georgian who broke his own snatch world record in lifting 223kg, his own clean and jerk world record in lifting 265kg, and, therefore, his own overall total.

The benchmark for the big boppers is now 488kg.

Lasha Talakhadze of Georgia set a new world record.

Seth Wenig/AP

Lasha Talakhadze of Georgia set a new world record.

Liti, who burst to prominence three years ago after winning gold at the Commonwealth Games, was happy with his Olympic debut, lifting 178kg in the snatch and a personal best of 236kg in the clean and jerk for an overall total of 414kg, equalling his PB.

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He said it was nerve-racking but fun.

“A lot of hard work went into this and I was just nervous I wasn’t going to show it. I’m thankful everything came together but I’m sure next time will be a better performance. I hope I did everybody proud,” he told Sky Sport.

“It was fun, I can’t explain how good that felt, but now that it’s done I’m kinda home sick so I can’t wait to go home.”

He was almost successful with a 183kg snatch effort, too, but two of the three judges ruled his elbow had buckled too much and showed him red lights. “That snatch, it was definitely a red light,” he smiled.

Liti’s clean and jerk was excellent and brought a roar from him and some newly acquired fans in the sparse crowd, of which their seemed to be a few. He gave 241kg a crack with his third and final attempt but didn’t get near it.

His total was 11kg more than his 2018 Commonwealth Games winning effort, but 10kg off the bronze medal, claimed by Man Asaad. Iran’s Ali Davoudi was the clear silver medallist, with 441kg.

So what next?

“Straight into Commonwealth Games preparation. My quarantine will be my chill time, and honestly I can’t wait. I don’t normally like to predict things … but I’d love to win back-to-back golds at the Commonwealth Games so that’s the goal.”

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