Monday, August 18, 2008

Weightlifting preview: European lifters to fight for title of “world's strongest man”

European lifters will have to grab their last chance to get a gold in the men's +105kg category on Tuesday and claim the title of "the strongest man in the world" with the absence of legendary Iranian Hossein Rezazadeh.

Latvian parliamentarian Viktors Scerbatihs, who claimed title at last year's world championships when Rezazadeh gave up the events, and German lifter Matthias Steiner, ranked first in the list with an entry total of 455kg, are among the candidates for the title.

However, Scerbatihs, who is also runner-up at Athens Games, is only ranked eighth in the entry list.

He will face challenge from Russian Evgeny Chigishev, silver medalist at 2007 world championships, and Qatarian strongman Jaber Saeed Salem, bronze medalist in the same events.

Another lifter Scerbatihs will have to pay attention to is South Korean Jeon Sang-guen. The 27-year-old dropped off last year's world championships after failed three jerk attempts. This time, he is ranked third with an entry total of 445kg.

The men's super-heavyweight class has long been dominated by Rezazadeh, two-time Olympic champion and four-time world champion, who pulled out of Beijing Olympics due to an injury.

Until Sunday, Asian lifters swept all the 13 golds on offer in men's and women's events, however, European strongmen may win first gold in Monday's event of men's 105kg category.


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