Colombia won its first medal of the Rio Olympics Monday night, and it’s also the nation’s second-ever gold medal in weightlifting.
Oscar Figueroa won 62 kg weightlifting competition, lifting a combined 318 kilograms in the snatch and clean and jerk lifts. Figueroa is Colombia’s first-ever men’s weightlifting gold medalist, and he joins Maria Isabel Urrutia (Sydney, 2000) as Colombians who have won an Olympic weightlifting gold medal. Figueroa, who established a new Olympic record in the clean and jerk with a lift of 177 kilograms, won a silver medal in this event in London.
WATCH (in Spanish): Figueroa wins gold in 62 kg weight class
Joining Figueroa on the medal stand were Eko Yuli Irawan of Indonesia and Farkhad Kharki of Kazakhstan, with Irawan improving upon his bronze medal finish in London. Kharki became the first Kazakh to win an Olympic medal in this event, with Figueroa and Irawan becoming the first-ever two-time medalists in the 62 kg division.
After his final attempt, at 179 kg in the clean and jerk, a tearful Figueroa removed his shoes and fell to his knees in prayer on the platform. Having achieved his goal of an Olympic gold medal, Figueroa announced his retirement from the sport.