Iraqi gold medalist weightlifter becomes internet sensation with wild celebration at Asian Games

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Iraq's Safaa Al-Jumaili reacts after his winning lift, gaining him the gold medal in the men's 85kg Group A weightlifting event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. (AFP)
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Iraq's Safaa Al-Jumaili reacts after his winning lift, gaining him the gold medal in the men's 85kg Group A weightlifting event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. (AFP)
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Iraq's Safaa Al-Jumaili reacts after his winning lift, gaining him the gold medal in the men's 85kg Group A weightlifting event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. (AFP)
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Iraq's Safaa Al-Jumaili reacts after his winning lift, gaining him the gold medal in the men's 85kg Group A weightlifting event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. (AFP)
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Iraq's Safaa Al-Jumaili reacts after his winning lift, gaining him the gold medal in the men's 85kg Group A weightlifting event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. (AFP)
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Iraq's Safaa Al-Jumaili reacts after his winning lift, gaining him the gold medal in the men's 85kg Group A weightlifting event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. (AFP)
Updated 25 August 2018

Iraqi gold medalist weightlifter becomes internet sensation with wild celebration at Asian Games

JAKARTA: Safaa Al-Jumaili, who secured Iraq’s first gold medal of the Asian Games on Friday, has become an internet sensation after his wild celebration.
The Iraqi champion celebrated winning the weightlifting by ripping off his shirt and roaring with delight.
His jubilation came after a dramatic last-gasp lift secured his country’s first gold of the Asian Games.
It was Iraq’s first medal of any color at the 18th Asiad and was greeted with jubilant scenes at the Jakarta International Expo arena.
As Al-Jumaili roared in delight he was joined by an Iraqi team official who bowed and kissed the platform several times in thanks.
Al-Jumaili had already failed with the 202kg he needed for gold but somehow managed to lock out his arms on the final lift of the 85kg competition to pip South Korea’s brave Jang Yeon-hak by just 1kg.
Jang was left with silver after collapsing on his final 197kg attempt and being stretchered away wearing an oxygen mask.
He recovered in time to collect his silver medal. “I hyperventilated,” he told AFP. “I knew Al-Jumaili had a strong clean and jerk and I knew if I didn’t make it he would probably win.”
The 2017 Asian Junior Championship gold medallist said he was just glad to be competing after a horror injury three years ago.
“It was my own fault. I kicked a barbell and broke my leg,” he revealed.
“I thought I would have to give up lifting but my father helped me with rehabilitation. Every day he trained with me.”


Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

Updated 04 July 2020

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian Grand Prix

  • The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds

SPIELBERG, Austria: Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday to take pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.
The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third place and Lando Norris giving McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here.
Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.
Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.
Ferrari struggled for speed, with Charles Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.
Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.
Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.
Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.