Veteran Zhang Guozheng of China produced a riveting display of lifting as he won his fist gold medal in three years at the the world weightlifting championships on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old Zhang combined lifts of 155kg in the snatch with 192kg in the clean and jerk to finish with 347kg in men's 69kg division, which almost equaled with his winning total of 347.5kg in Athens Olympics.
"I lost 7kg (to match up with the competing regulation) since I arrived here. I think I did a good job today," Zhang told the press.
"I believe I still have room to improve my performance and I can achieve my best result in the Olympics in Bejing. I am quite confident," added him.
Zhang had been absent from the worlds since he took the gold medal in the Olympics in Athens.
His compatriot Shi Zhiyong, 27, settled with silver at 338kg and Demir Demirev of Bulgaria, bronze medalist in last year's worlds, lifted a total of 334kg to take the bronze.
"Losing 7kg was too hard for me. I ate almost nothing these days and it was just like I was dying," Zhang said.
Shi, winner in the Athens Olympics in the men's 62kg class, took the lead in the snatch as he lifted 158kg, 3kg more than Zhang. However, he failed in his last two attempts to lose the advantage.
Zhang continued his reign in his last attempt when he jerked 192kg to claim his victory.
"I lifted badly in the jerk and that's why I only lifted 338kg in total today," said Shi.