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Tokyo Olympics 2020: Weightlifter Talha Talib narrowly missed out on winning a medal for Pakistan

Weightlifter Talha Talib on Sunday missed a rare Olympic medal for Pakistan but turned plenty of heads as Pakistan finally noticed from him.

The 21-year-old lifter from Gujranwala, at his Olympic debut, competed in the 67kg category and held the gold medal place until the final round before he was eventually bumped down and denied a podium.

In the end, he finished fifth as China’s Lijun Chen, Colombia Luis Javier Moscow Lozano and Italian Mirco Zani captured gold, silver and bronze respectively.

The 151kg rise of Talib in the Snatch category was the second-best of the round. He failed in his first Clean & Jerk attempt of 166kg, and although he was successful for the same weight in his next attempt and also cleared 170kg later, his combined total of 320 was surpassed by others, including Zani, Which lifted 2 kg more than talib.

For a little while during Clean and Jerk, he was in the lead, giving his growing number of fans at home a glimpse of hope. Nevertheless, Talib’s performance, despite a clear lack of resources, turned him into a hero, as Twitter threw him prizes and his name was the top Pakistani trend on the site.

Pakistan cricket team Allander Shadab Khan said “Pakistan is proud of Talha Talib” as he urged “sponsors and sports administration to help athletes like Talha”.

Sports reporter Faizan Lakhani explained how Talib’s journey was an against-the-odds story as “Talha wasn’t provided any special training programme even after his qualification.”

Talib’s trip to the Tokyo Olympics was made possible after the International Olympic Committee accepted a request from the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and offered the young lifter an invitation place in the -67 kg category.

According to the POA, he has clinched medals at Commonwealth (Bronze), South Asian Games (Gold) and International Solidarity Weightlifting Championships (Gold).

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