Iran’s Moradi breaks weightlifting’s oldest world record
Sohrab Moradi of Iran broke weightlifting’s longest standing world record on his way to gold in the men’s 94kg class at the Asian Games on Saturday. Moradi hoisted 189kg in the competition’s opening discipline to better the snatch record set at 188kg in 1999 by Greece’s Akakios Kakiasvilis. Moradi now has a complete set of 94kg world records that will remain on the books forever. After the Asian Games all the sport’s weight classes will change ahead of the Olympic qualifying cycle beginning at November’s World Championships. Moradi already owned the marks for the clean and jerk (233kg) and total weight (417kg) in the men’s light heavyweight division. ‘I really wanted to break the world record as it was the only one I didn’t have and this was my last chance,’ Moradi told AFP. ‘I feel very happy to know that my name will always remain on all the 94kg world records.’ The Iranian said he would now step up to the new 96kg class. ‘My next goal is the World Championships (in November) and after that to put on a good show at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.’
Marathon erupts in controversy
Japan’s Hiroto Inoue was accused of pushing Bahraini runner Elhassan Elabbassi and denying him gold as controversy overshadowed the end of the Asian Games marathon on Saturday. Both athletes had complaints rejected by race officials after they made contact during a thrilling sprint finish, which Inoue won by a fraction of a second. At the end of the 42-kilometre (26 miles) race through Jakarta’s streets, two runners entered the stadium in Jakarta neck and neck, before Inoue opened up a small lead. In the final 100 metres, Elabbassi attempted to overtake on the inside but fell back after apparent contact. ‘The number one (leader) pushed me,’ said Elabbassi. ‘I would have won.’ Speaking to reporters after the race, Inoue said he did not know what had happened, but had been ‘surprised’ by the contact. The Japanese team later reported Elabbassi for attempting to overtake on the inside when there was no gap. Referee Vadim Nigmatov rejected both teams’ complaints to leave Inoue with the gold medal. Each side has the right to appeal. Both athletes were credited with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 22 seconds, with pre-race favourite Inoue crossing the line marginally ahead.
Unified Korea team win Asian Games bronze
A Unified Korea team featuring athletes from North and South Korea won dragon boat bronze for their first medal at the Asian Games on Saturday. The highly symbolic all-Korean team, competing together after a rapid improvement in cross-border relations, came in behind China and hosts Indonesia in Palembang. The two Koreas have also joined forces in rowing at the regional Olympics as well as women’s basketball, in which they lie second in their group after three wins out of four. At last week’s opening ceremony, the Korean teams marched together behind the Unified Korea flag, held aloft jointly by South Korean women’s basketball player Lim Yung-hui and North Korean footballer Ju Kyong Chol. The two Koreas had paraded together and formed a joint women’s ice hockey team at February’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, setting the scene for an unprecedented warming of ties.
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