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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | WEIGHTLIFTING

Dimas Is Golden, Record Setting Too

July 27, 1996|Times Wire Services

Once again, Pyrros Dimas outlifted Marc Huster. This time, the only drama involved the world record attempts each made.

Dimas, of Greece, won his second straight Olympic weightlifting gold medal--becoming only the 13th lifter to accomplish such a feat--by prevailing in the 182 3/4-pound division.

Dimas set a world record by lifting 865 1/4 pounds with his best efforts in the snatch and clean-and-jerk. He set the previous standard of 854 1/4 pounds on May 5, 1995.

He beat Huster in the 1995 and 1993 world championships but the German outlifted Dimas in 1994.

Dimas' 396 3/4-pound lift in the snatch broke his previous world record of 391 1/4 pounds, and gave him an insurmountable 22-pound lead entering the clean-and-jerk portion of the competition. Huster, of Germany, won the silver medal by lifting a total of 843 1/4 pounds, and Andrzej Cofalik of Poland won the bronze with 821 pounds.

No Americans were among the 20 entries.

"I came here with one main purpose, to win the gold medal," Dimas said. "During the competition, I saw that it was my day, so I attempted the world records."

Actually, Dimas and Huster both lifted totals higher than listed, because both were going for world records in the clean-and-jerk.

First, Dimas broke his previous record of 468 1/4 pounds by lifting 469 1/4 pounds. Then Huster, who already had the silver medal wrapped up, lifted 470 1/2 pounds.

Dimas already was talking about equaling--and eclipsing--the feat of Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey, also known as "Pocket Hercules," who earlier in the week became the first lifter to win three Olympic weightlifting gold medals.

"If you win a gold medal, you feel the same if it's the first time or the second," Dimas said through an interpreter. "I believe the feelings will be the same with the third.

"Of course, I'm competing in 2000 and I look forward to competing in Athens in 2004."

Athens, however, has yet to be awarded those Games.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

MEDALISTS / WEIGHTLIFTING

183 pounds

GOLD: Pyrros Dimas, Greece

SILVER: Marc Huster, Germany

BRONZE: Anderzej Cofalik, Poland

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