Sen Yang took two attempts to nail a new squat world record of 437.5kg, giving him a healthy lead but the competition was fierce just behind him with only 10kg covering the next 6 lifters. Marcus Per Hole of Norway in the lower group had a couple of goes at 356.5kg for a new world record but couldn’t take it all the way to lockout. He did however take the bench gold from the B group with his 340kg opener.
The field started to separate out over the course of bench press and Yang’s lead was severely eroded when he only got one bench in and his teammate, Chi-Sen Tien got all three, ending on 325kg and moving him up to second. They were both under heavy pressure however from big deadlifters Oleksiy Bychkov of Ukraine and Tony Cliffe of Great Britain as we moved into the final phase of the competition.
In a shocking twist, Yang’s grip let him down and he dropped 310kg three times, forfeiting his world record squat and dropping out of the world championship competition. Meanwhile, Bychkov’s 360kg opener shot him into the lead, 17.5kg ahead of Cliffe and suddenly this was a two horse race. Cliffe and Bychkov both made their second, maintaining the gap and both looked like they had more in the tank. Cliffe made a valiant attempt at 385kg for the win but he couldn’t get it past his knees. Bychkov came out for 390kg and absolutely smoked it, confirming him as the new 120kg world champion in true style.