London, England (Sports Network) - After many of the favorites failed to even advance out of the snatch phase, Poland's Adrian Edward Zielinski took advantage to claim gold in the men's 85-kilogram weightlifting event.
The former 2010 world champion lifted 174kg in the snatch -- the third-highest total of any lifter -- and then added another 211kg in the clean and jerk. That left him tied with Russian Apti Aukhadov with a total of 385kg, but Zielinski got the gold due to a slightly lower body weight (84.62 to 84.75kg).
Zielinski had won the Polish championships with an impressive 395kg, but did so at the 94kg category. He gave his country its first medal in weightlifting since the 1972 Munich Games.
"I was sure I was going to get a medal. But in the last lift I felt a second strength so I just decided to go for it," said Zielinski of what his final lift felt like.
Aukhadov picked up a surprise medal after grabbing the final spot on Russia's team just to get to London. He lifted 175kg in the snatch and another 210 in the clean and jerk, failing to get up an additional two kilograms on his final attempt.
Iran's Kianoush Rostami, the 2011 world champion, won the bronze.
Asian champion Sourab Moradi and Belarus' Andrei Rybakou, the defending Olympic silver medalist, failed to complete their lifts in the snatch and did not finish the event. China's Lu Yong, the 2008 Beijing gold medalist, lifted 178kg in the snatch but failed in three attempts to clean and jerk 205kg.
08/03 16:46:45 ET