Chile’s Arley Mendez wins gold at World Weightlifting Championship 2017

ANAHEIM, California – Chile’s Arley Mendez defeated Olympic champion Kianoush Rostami of Iran in the men’s 85 kilogram class at weightlifting’s World Championships in California on Sunday, while Sohrab Moradi broke two world records in the 94kg class.

Mendez, who was only granted Chilean citizenship this year, never returned home after competing for his native Cuba in the Pan American Junior Championships in Santiago in 2013. He posted a total of 378kg to win gold ahead of Poland’s Krzysztof Zwarycz (359kg). Italy’s Antonino Pizzolato lifted 358 kgs to clinch third.

The 23-year-old could have also taken Rostami’s clean and jerk world record had he not failed with his final attempt at 221kg.

“My finger got stuck on the bar, a technical problem,” said Mendez. “Next year the records will come. I prepared well and I knew I would win here.”

Rostami, who injured his left knee last week, missed all three clean and jerk attempts and failed to register a total.

In the women’s 75 kilogram class, Spain’s Lydia Valentin, a medalist at the past three Olympic Games, was the clear winner on 258kg from Ecuador’s Neisi Dajomes on 240kg with France’s Gaelle Ketchanke a further three kilograms behind.