London: Triple world champion Marcin Dolega said he had blown his best chance for Olympic gold as he crashed out without registering a single lift -- four years after narrowly missing the medals in Beijing. But on the snatch the Pole failed to lift 190kg three times, and went out without even getting to the clean and jerk. (Agencies)
After the reigning 105kg Olympic champion Alexei Aramnau of Belarus and the top two at last year's world championships, Russians Khazhimurat Akkaev and Dmitriy Klokov, pulled out of the competition, Dolega was the favourite.
When winning the second of his world titles in 2009, he snatched 195kg, a weight he regularly lifts in training. But he was at a loss to explain what went wrong on Sunday.
"What can I say after such a fatal performance? The 190kg should have been a good lift for me," he said yesterday. "If I were to wake up in the middle of the night I would have no problems with that weight."
It was the second time he has let slip a chance of an Olympic medal.
In Beijing four years ago he missed out on bronze by bodyweight because he was just 70g heavier than Russian Dmitriy Lapikov.
On that occasion he opened with 225kg in the clean and jerk before failing twice with 228kg. Lapikov had lifted 222kg on his first attempt before also managing 226kg and 230kg.
Dolega had needed to lift just 1kg more to win a medal. And his second successive failure at an Olympics hurt.
"That was the only chance for me. I'll probably never have a chance like that again," he said. "I have to accept that it maybe means the end of weightlifting for me. I don't know.
"I've been world champion before, but I've never been an Olympic champion. I had a big chance to be an Olympic medallist four years ago and a big chance again today but I blew them both."
Having become the favourite due to the withdrawals of others, Dolega denied the pressure had got to him.
"I was very, very calm before the start of the competition. It didn't feel like I was competing at an Olympic Games, I was surprisingly calm.
"It is a big shock for me. In training I lifted 190kg and 195kg over 100 times and not a single attempt failed. But today, all three failed. I am shocked."
He twice won the world title with 415kg totals and once with 421kg, while his Beijing marker was 420kg.
All those would have been good enough to win in London, where Ukraine's Oleksiy Torokhtiy triumphed with a 412kg total -- the smallest at either an Olympics or world championships since the category was created in 1999.
London: Triple world champion Marcin Dolega said he had blown his best chance for Olympic gold as he crashed out without registering a single lift -- four years after narrowly missing the medals in Beijing.
But on the snatch the Pole failed to lift 190kg three times, and went out without even getting to the clean and jerk.