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Two world records broken as Kazakhstan’s Rahimov takes weightlifting gold

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Kazakhstan’s Nijat Rahimov and China’s Lyu Xiaojun were by far the two best weightlifters in the 77 kg final Wednesday evening, with the gold medal ultimately being decided by a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker: which athlete weighed less, as both managed to lift a combined weight of 379 kilograms in the snatch and clean and jerk lifts.

Rahimov took the gold medal as a result, but it should be noted that both he and Lyu established new Olympic and World records in the duel.

Rahimov’s lift of 214 kilograms, which is approximately 472 pounds, on his second attempt in the clean and jerk established new Olympic and World records. As for Lyu, his lift of 177 kilograms (approximately 390 pounds) on his third attempt in the snatch set new Olympic and world records. The difference between gold and silver for Lyu was essentially two kilograms, as he entered the competition weighing 175 kg with Rahimov weight in at 174 kg.

Kazakhstan had never won a gold medal in this event, with their only other medal of any kind in the weight class being a silver in 2004. Rahimov, who served a two-year doping ban from 2013-2015, nearly wasn’t allowed to compete as the International Weightlifting Federation attempted to ban the entire Kazakhstan team over repeated positive doping tests. But that process wasnt’ carried out in time for the start of the Olympics, thus allowing Rahimov the opportunity to compete.

Taking bronze was Mohamed Mahmoud of Egypt, giving that nation two weightlifting medalists on the day with 18-year old Sara Ahmed being the other. Armenia’s Andranik Karapetyan was in contention for a medal, but he missed out due to a severe arm injury (warning: graphic video) suffered on his second 195 kg attempt in the clean and jerk.

IOC pledges €500,000 to help restore Notre Dame ahead of 2024 Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee plans to donate €500,000 ($562,000) to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in the 2024 Olympic host city.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to see Notre Dame restored within five years.

“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a Wednesday letter to Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse, which reported Notre Dame is on the planned marathon and road cycling routes. “All the Olympic Movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

More than $500 million has been pledged overall from around the globe after a fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral on Monday.

NBC News has more on the Notre Dame fire here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Patrick Kane joined by NHL All-Stars on world championship roster

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NHL All-Stars Jack EichelRyan Suter and Cory Schneider join previously named captain Patrick Kane to lead the U.S. at next month’s world hockey championship in Slovakia, seeking the nation’s first title at a standalone worlds since 1933.

Sixteen players were added to the roster in Thursday’s announcement with more to come before worlds open May 10 and more teams get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, making more players available. The IIHF allows up to 25 players per nation.

Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be the U.S. head coach for a third straight worlds. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 and earned bronze in 2018, sandwiching an Olympic quarterfinal exit in PyeongChang without NHL players.

Sweden is trying to become the first nation to three-peat at worlds since the Czech Republic in 2001.

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Preliminary IIHF World Championship Roster
Forwards

Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)
Luke Glendening (Detroit Red Wings)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings)
James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Frank Vatrano (Florida Panthers)
Colin White (Ottawa Senators)

Defensemen
Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings)
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)

Goalies
Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
Cayden Primeau (Laval (AHL))
Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)