2024 AWC. Day 8. Man Asaad stunned Gor Minasyan in final event © Getty Images

The final day of the 2024 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent produced the biggest surprise of the tournament. Three Olympic medallists were among just seven competitors in the final two weight classes of the championships.

Uzbekistan's Ruslan Nurudinov (Rio 2016 champion), Bahrain's Gor Minasyan (Rio 2016 runner-up) and Syria's Man Asaad (Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist) took to the stage at the Yunusabad Sports Complex.

There were only three entries in the men's -109kg category. Sharofiddin Amriddinov of Uzbekistan challenged his older teammate Nurudinov and won the snatch with 176 kg. Nurudinov was second, 1 kg behind. In the clean and jerk, however, Nurudinov waited until Amriddinov had taken all three attempts and had finished with 205 kg before he started. 

The Rio 2016 champion failed to lift 207 kg on the first attempt, but succeeded on the second to take gold in the clean and jerk and the total. Amriddinov took silver and Abdo al Ghafeer Ezzeddin of the United Arab Emirates was third.

Uzbekistan's Ruslan Nurudinov, in competition. GETTY IMAGES
Uzbekistan's Ruslan Nurudinov, in competition. GETTY IMAGES

At the 2023 Asian Championships Gor Minasyan set three Asian records with 217-247-464. But he was obviously out of form here in Tashkent. He won the snatch but only with 207 kg and failed to lift 212 kg. Man Asaad was 15 kg behind, but the Syrian stunned Minasyan with his second attempt in the clean and jerk. 

Asaad has always been famous for his clean and jerk, but had never lifted more than 250 kg in official competition. Minasyan had only one successful attempt in the clean and jerk, failing twice to lift 242 kg. He finished with 236 kg. Asaad secured the gold medal in the clean and jerk with 237 kg and then approached 252 kg. At the World Championships in Bogota in 2022, Asaad made an attempt at 252 kg, but failed. This time he succeeded and was crowned champion: the first Asian gold medal of his career. He also broke the Asian record in the clean and jerk. 

Iraq's Ali Yusur was fourth in the snatch, but with his last attempt of 234 kg he took bronze in the clean and jerk and total from Uzbekistan's Rustam Djaganbaev. All eyes are now be on the European Championships, which begin on 12 February in Sofia, Bulgaria.