Sofia 2024 Day 2:Two golds for the hosts, one for Armenia. WF BULGARIA

Bulgarian athletes Angel Rusev and Gabriel Marinov won the first gold medals for the host country on the second day of the 2024 European Weightlifting Championships. 

Aleksandra Gregoryan won the first gold for Armenia. Rusev finished third and Marinov and Grigoryan were out of the medals after the snatch, but the strong performances in the clean and jerk earned them gold medals in the total.

Rusev finished behind Turkey's Muammer Sahin and Georgia's Ramini Shamilishvili in the men's 55 kg snatch, but won the clean and jerk with 135 kg and the total with 244 kg. Shamilashvili remained in second place after the second event. Dzhan Zharkov from Bulgaria was second in the clean and jerk and third in the total with 102-133-235.

Spain's Josue Brachi failed all three attempts in the snatch, but finished third in the clean and jerk. Hampton Morris from the USA was by far the best lifter in the men's 61 kg category. The 19-year-old lifted 126 kg in the snatch and 171 kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 297 kg. 

His top lifts were both new American junior and senior records, as were his two totals. Morris' result was out of competition but allowed him to move up to 7th in the Olympic rankings.

Marinov won the gold medal with 281 kg (121+160), but was only 5th after the snatch. Another Bulgarian, Ivan Dimov, best after the snatch, took bronze in the clean and jerk and silver in the total with 130-150-280. Georgia's Shota Mishvelidze was third in the snatch and the total. Pavlo Zalipski of Poland and Valentin Iancu of Romania took silver in the snatch and clean and jerk respectively. 

Grigoryan was only sixth after the snatch in the women's 55 kg category, 5 kg behind leader Sol Waaler (Norway) and 4 kg behind Yulia Hulina (AIN) and Burcu Alici (Turkey), but the battle for gold in the clean and jerk and total was between Grigoryan and Italy's Celine Delia (fourth after the snatch). 

The Armenian won the competition with 115 kg in the clean and jerk and 196 kg in the total. Delia was second in both parts with 111 kg and 195 kg. Burcu was also third in the clean and jerk, but missed the podium in the total as the bronze medal went to Waaler.