Briken Calja gets the first Olympic medal for Albania in Tokyo, but in fourth place

Briken Calja gets the first Olympic medal for Albania in Tokyo, but in fourth place
Briken Calja lifting in Tokyo 2020
 Albanian weightlifter Briken Calja closed the race today in fourth place the double at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. One pound less separated him from the bronze medal that went to an athlete from Indonesia.

Calja competed in the category under 73 kilograms. In three trials of the snatch, he lifted 151 kg and erred two of three of them.

However in the clean and jerk style, he succeeded with 184 and 190 kg. With these, he lifted in total 341 kilograms and climbed the rankings but not on the podium.

Indonesian Erwin Rahmat Abdullah and Venezuelan Julio Ruben Mayora lifted more weights in the snatch style (total: 342 and 346 kg) and took third and second place respectively. As if that were not enough, the Chinese Zhiyong Shi was in absolute form.

Shi managed to lift the world and Olympic record weights: 166 kilograms in the snatch and 198 kilograms in clean and jerk. In this way, he deserved first place.


For Calja, however, this is a great achievement as Albania has never come closer than today to a medal at the Olympic Games.

President Ilir Meta congratulated the weightlifter on his achievement through a Facebook post. Meta described it as an excellent and dignified representation.

Calja was born in Elbasan, 31 years ago. He started weightlifting when he was 11 years old and was declared the champion of Albania at a young age in 2004.

His career has continued with dignified representations such as those at the London Olympics (2012), where he took 6th place with 320 kg in doubles.

In 2013, after the Mediterranean Games, he tested positive for doping and was forced to cancel a two-year suspension. But he came back with better performances.

At the Rio Olympics (2016) he took fifth place with 326 kg lifted in doubles. While at the European Championship that took place this year in Moscow, he took third place with a total of 336 kg.

In February of this year, in the Albanian weightlifting championship, Calja lifted 158 kg in snatch and 195 kg in the clean and jerk for a national record of 353 kg in total. If he had lifted the same at the Olympics he would have won silver medal.
Briken Calja gets the first Olympic medal for Albania in Tokyo, but in fourth place Briken Calja gets the first Olympic medal for Albania in Tokyo, but in fourth place Wednesday, July 28, 2021 Rating: 5
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