A noisy home crowd in Batumi, Georgia were on their feet on the final day of the European Weightlifting Championships when Lasha Talakhadze smashed three of his own world records in the final event, the men’s super-heavyweights.
Amazingly, Talakhadze, one of Georgia’s great sporting heroes, needed only four lifts to set records on snatch, clean and jerk and total – he gave up the other two.
There was also a world record for Tatiana Kashirina, whose victory in the women’s super-heavyweights ensured Russia finished top of the medals table ahead of Belarus.
The crowd roared Talakhadze, Olympic and world super-heavyweight champion, to a snatch of 218kg and a clean and jerk of 260kg.
They respectively improved his records by 1kg and 3kg, making his 478kg total an improvement of 4kg on the mark he set in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan at last year’s International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships.
Only once in the history of weightlifting has anybody lifted more than that 260kg, the legendary Soviet lifter Leonid Taranenko at a sponsored super-heavyweight contest in Australia in 1988, when the body weight classes were different.
It seems only a matter of time before Talakhadze overtakes him.
Georgia also took the silver through a very respectable 447kg total by Irakli Turmanidze, who was in turn 7kg clear of Ruben Aleksanyan, of Armenia.
Talakhadze, 25, made a 10kg jump from first snatch to second, and went up 15kg for his second clean and jerk.
Kashirina, who has suffered her first defeat since 2012 in the IWF World Cup in China in February, returned to form in style by bettering her own world record on total, with 331kg.