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Going home with no medals

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Eko Yuli Irawan, an Indonesian weightlifter at the Hangzhou Asian Games

Jakarta, IO – Eko Yuli Irawan was able to accept his failure after returning home empty-handed from the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which were hosted this year due to the pandemic. In the 67 kg class, Indonesia’s star weightlifter was unable to compete with lifters from other countries. “I have to admit that I did not prepare my best for this,” admitted Eko. 

The 34-year-old lifter has regularly presented medals to Indonesia in the last three Asian Games, as he steadily competed in the men’s 62 kg category. Unlike the past competitions, Eko joined the 67 kg category in this year’s Asian Games. 

He won a bronze medal at the 2010 Guangzhou China Asian Games and one at the 2014 Incheon Korea Asian Games. Eko finally won a gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. 

“I do have my reasons why I was in the 67kg class instead. I will let the coach elaborate later,” he said. 

On Sunday, October 1, Eko competed at the Xiaoshan Sports Center in Hangzhou, China, and failed on the first try, the 142 kg snatch type. He managed to make up for his loss by winning the second lift with a weight of 145 kg. He managed to lift 148kg in the third lift, but the jury ruled it illegal. 

The Lampung-born lifter stated that the 148-kg lift, which was ruled unlawful by the jury, did not concern him; even if the lift was calculated, its value would be less than that of other lifters. 

“I’m not bothered (to be disqualified for the third snatch). Whatever I did, I would still lose in the final,” stated Eko Yuli Irawan. “All my training records resulted in the first lift,” he said. 

Eko also failed three times to lift the 175kg clean and jerk-type weight. Hence, he lost the points and only managed to record the 145kg weight lift. 

“Thank you for everyone’s support in Indonesia. I’m sorry to have failed to secure any medals. I tried my hardest, and I am grateful to still have the energy to lift. Hopefully, I can perform better in future tournaments,” Eko stated in an official statement. 

Eko started his career at the 2006 Junior World Championships, where he won a silver medal. Since then, he has continued his brilliant career with many notable achievements. 

In his career, he has won four medals at the Summer Olympics, five medals at world championships, and three medals at the Asian Games, including a Gold in 2018. He is one of five weightlifting athletes who have won four Olympic medals. 

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He won the Bronze medal in the 56 kg category at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, lifting 288 kg in total, and the Silver medal in the 62 kg category at the 2009 World Weightlifting Championships, with 315 kg in total. At the 2011 World Championships, he won the Bronze medal in the 62 kg category after lifting 310 kg in total. 

Eko won his second consecutive Olympic Bronze medal in 2012, following a total lift of 317 kg. In 2016, he managed to win a Silver medal at the Rio Olympics. He also became the world champion in the newly created 61 kg category in the 2018 World Weightlifting Championship in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. He is still the world record holder in the 174 kg clean and jerk weightlift and the world record holder in the total lift at 317 kg in the category. (rp)

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