Iran's weightlifters Behdad Salimi and Saeed Ali-Hosseini snatched gold and silver, respectively, in the men’s +105 weight category of the 2018 Asian Games underway in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
On Monday, and the final day of the Games’ weightlifting competitions, Salimi lifted 208 kilograms and 253 kilograms in his last attempts in the snatch as well as clean and jerk, respectively, to grab his third successive Asian Games gold medal with a total of 461 kilograms.
Salimi became only the third weightlifter in history to complete a hat-trick of Asian Games golds. He had won gold at Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014
South Korean superheavyweight Kim Tae-Hyun won gold in 1990, 1994 and 1998 and Iranian great Mohammad Nassiri won lightweight categories in 1966, 1970 and 1974.
"I'm so happy that after Mohammad Nassiri I am only the second man from Iran to win three gold medals in the Asian Games," he told AFP after his winning total of 461kg.
His compatriot Ali-Hosseini, however, lifted 208 kilograms in snatch and 254 kilograms in clean and jerk to settle for silver with a total of 456 kilograms.
Ali-Hosseini controversially took silver ahead of Salimi in the 2017 world championships in Anaheim, his first competition after returning from an eight-year doping ban.
Ali-Hosseini was originally banned for life from weightlifting for repeated positive tests for anabolic steroids. He was reprieved in 2017 when his suspension was changed to 12 and then cut to eight years.
Rustam Djangabaev of Uzbekistan, fourth in last year's world championships, was edged into bronze after a lifetime best clean and jerk of 252 kilograms took him to 455 kilograms, just 1 kilogram adrift of Ali-Hosseini.
After succeeding in his last clean and jerk attempt, while not yet sure of having bagged the gold medal, Salimi, in a shocking move, announced his retirement from weightlifting by removing his shoes and belt and kneeling to kiss the stage in thanks.
After winning the gold medal, the 2012 Olympic champion Salimi revealed he had been hampered by a leg injury that required surgery after last year's world championships.
"After my operation I've had a very bad feeling here," he said pointing to his left knee.
"It had been very hard to train. I don't know how I won. I was determined to do my best. That's why I gave thanks to God."
The 2018 Asian Games, officially known as the 18th Asian Games, is a pan-Asian multi-sport event which opened on August 18 and will continue until September 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
The athletes compete in 465 events across 40 sports and 67 disciplines in these competitions, also known as Jakarta Palembang 2018.