World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran's Behdad Salimikordasiabi won gold in the headline event of the London Olympic weightlifting competition on Tuesday to claim the title of strongest man at the Games.
His fellow countryman Sajjad Anoushiravani Hamlabad took the silver to seal a one-two that delighted a crowed packed with Iranian supporters and asserted the country's dominance in the Games' ultimate test of strength.
"In Iran I know they're all partying in the street already," Salimi said smiling and holding a permanently ringing mobile phone in one hand.
There was a party atmosphere in the ExCel arena too where dozens of Iranian flags were unfurled while whistles blew and air horns parped to the beat of the chant "Ir-an, Ir-an".
After receiving their medals, the lifters left the platform to embrace friends in the crowd accompanied by the hugely popular two-time Olympic champion Hossein Rezazadeh, now president of the country's weightlifting federation.
The 22-year-old world and Olympic champion, known as "Salimi", took victory with two lifts to spare when the challenge of Russia's Ruslan Albegov faded.
"I represented the last opportunity for the Russian team. I tried the best I could," Albegov said, reflecting on a disappointing weightlifting competition that returned five silver medals and a bronze, but no gold, from their 10-strong squad.
The winning total of 455kg comprised a 208kg lift in the snatch round and a 247kg clean and jerk.
That put him 6kg ahead of silver medallist, training partner and fellow countryman Anoushiravani who joined him on the platform at the end of the competition to hoist an Iranian flag.
Salimi was tied with Russia's Albegov at the halfway stage after both completed snatch lifts of 208kg, but the Iranian was too strong in the clean and jerk discipline where his first lift proved enough to beat off the rest of the field.
The crowd roared their approval as Salimi then attempted a 264kg clean and jerk that would have taken the world record from Rezazadeh, who was cheering on from the technical area by the stage.
However the lift proved too much and after failing his first of two possible attempts, with gold already secured, he unbuckled his belt and remained on the platform to lap up the applause of a crowd featuring a large and noisy Iranian contingent.
Salimi later told reporters that a lengthy gap between lifts had allowed his body to go cold and affected his ability to make the lift.
"My first goal was to get the gold medal. I came here to get the gold medal and maybe in the future I will go for the record," he said.
Beijing Olympic champion Matthias Steiner did not finish the event after receiving a blow to the head from the falling bar when his arms buckled on a 196kg snatch attempt. Germany's Steiner left the stage on his feet, raising a hand to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd.
"He is OK but was not able to continue with the competition for medical reasons. I do not think it is very serious, but the doctors are checking him over," said Germany's Olympic mission chief Michael Vesper.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in London for medical check-up, will undergo an open-heart surgery on Tuesday, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said in Islamabad on Friday.
Pyongyang accuses Seoul of raising tensions after South Korea's warning shots along western maritime border a day earlier
Malaysia has accepted a second batch from Beirut with 18 families adding to three other families that arrived in December.
In a closing statement that urgent and long-term action responding to needs of those hosting must be undertaken
The Russian authorities undertake unprecedented measures on reinforcement on the Kuril islands
Barack Obama on Friday paid moving tribute to victims of the world's first nuclear attack by the US with his visit causing ripples across a region that is turmoil
Men detained in April become first suspects to be charged under Singapore laws against financing extremism
Police say speedboat off resort island of Koh Samui was carrying 32 tourists, 4 crew when it hit a ‘rogue’ wave
Tensions flare around inter-Korean maritime border as Seoul stands firm on rejection of dialogue with Pyongyang
Incoming president offered party members posts in new government if leaders return from exile and sit down for peace talks
The floods-hit country is hoping for foreign assistance mostly in the form of grants and loans, but also calls for overseas expertise in urban planning to prevent such disasters
Hour-long clashes in Sulu follow Monday's release of video by ISIL-affiliated group showing foreign hostages pleading for lives
A suicide attack on a bus carrying staff from an appeal court killed 10 people and wounded four on Wednesday west of the Afghan capital, Kabul, an interior ministry spokesman said.
'Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Taliban after a unanimous agreement in the shura supreme council,' a statement says
SKorean authorities deported 8 Indonesian migrant workers in last month after becoming alarmed over social media activities
Police say they've killed the operations head of a major militant group in the Indian portion of Kashmir in an overnight gunbattle.