Kazakhstan’s Nijat Rahimov broke the clean and jerk world record at the Rio Olympics, winning gold in the process. The weightlifter beat out reigning champion Lyu Xiaojun of China, who was widely believed to be the front runner for the gold in the men’s 77kg (169 pounds) weightlifting class. For his second clean and jerk, Rahimov decided to make the bold move of going up 26 pounds, lifting a total of 214kg (471 pounds). Rahimov’s total of 379kg (835.5 pounds), and the fact that he weight in lighter than Lyu, was enough for the 22-year-old to take top spot on the podium.

The world record was previously 207kg (456 pounds) which was set some 15 years ago. With Rahimov winning gold, Lyu ended up taking home silver. Rahimov celebrated his win with a bear hug from his coach, followed by ecstatic dancing and jumping. 


Rahimov had previously been doubted to participate in the Rio Olympics, due to a doping suspension he received between 2013 and 2015. The International Weightlifting Federation also tried to have the entire Kazakh team banned due to repeated doping offenses; however, the case was not fully processed in time for Rio.

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