Liu Huanhua of China shocked Olympic champion Akbar Djuraev in the men’s 109kg ©Getty Images

Olympic and world champion Akbar Djuraev struggled to hold back the tears when asked to reflect on a remarkable finish to the men’s 109 kilograms category at Xiaoshan Sports Centre Gymnasium.

Liu Huanhua from China had never lifted more than 224kg in his life and he weighed in far lighter than Djuraev, but he came out for his last lift and responded to the support of a large home crowd by making 233kg to relegate the double champion to second place.

China also won the women’s 87kg through Liang Xiaomei and ended up with five gold medals to North Korea's six.

Neither nation has any athletes in the two super-heavyweight contests on Saturday, the last day of competition in Hangzhou.

Uzbekistan's Djuraev, who won gold at this weight in Tokyo and added the world title in Saudi Arabia 20 days ago, could barely speak at first.

He then said it had been "really hard to recover strength" in such a short space of time.

His team-mate Ruslan Nurudinov was third and said it had been even harder for him at the age of 32.

Both men, Nurudinov said, were "so surprised" that Liu found the strength for a career-best effort when he, too, had lifted in Saudi Arabia, winning at 102kg.

Liu weighed in at 100.8kg, low enough to lift in the 102kg category, but he could not do that because it is not in the Asian Games programme.

His total of 418kg was better than the 102kg world record. 

China also won the women’s 87kg through Liang Xiaomei ©Getty Images
China also won the women’s 87kg through Liang Xiaomei ©Getty Images

He leads the Olympic rankings at that weight and said he is aiming to become China’s first ever male gold medallist in any weight category above 100kg.

Coach Yu Jie praised Liu’s psychological and physical strength and said he had trained so hard in the past two weeks that he had had to tell him to ease off.

"We found some problems at the World Championships and worked on them," said Yu.

"Liu recovered very quickly, trained hard, and his psychological endurance has greatly improved."

Liu, 22, has moved up the weights rapidly, having lifted at 89kg in the 2022 World Championships last December.

"So many people always joke that I am the only athlete who has crossed five levels in two years," he said. 

"I just feel that I can do it. I haven’t thought about whether my body can stand it. After all, I am still young.

"Today is indeed a miracle, but I want to create more miracles."

Liu made 185-233-418, Djuraev 189-228-417 and Nurudinov, who declined his last two attempts, 175-215-391.

In the women’s event, Liang made all six attempts in totalling 275kg, well clear of the South Koreans Yun Ha Je and Jung Aram on 252kg and 245kg.

"It was pretty easy, no pressure – I just showed what I had been doing in training each day," said Liang.