Giorgi Asanidze gave Georgia its second Olympic gold medal in Athens after winning the men’s 85-kilogram weightlifting competition on August 21.
29-year-old Asanidze’s victory comes as a surprise, as he has just recovered from an elbow injury.
Asanidze’s gold is the second for Georgia after 23-year-old Zurab Zviadauri’s victory in men’s 90-kilogram judo on August 18. Zviadauri is the first-ever Olympic gold medalist in the history of independent Georgia.
At the moment Georgia has a total of three Olympic medals. Earlier Nestor Khergiani won a silver medal in men’s 60-kilogram judo.
Giorgi Asanidze and Zurab Zviadauri will receive an award in the amount of 25,000 Lari (USD 14,000) from the Georgia government as a gold medalist, and an additional 400,000 Lari (USD 220,000) each from the Georgian tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.
In the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Giorgi Asanidze and two other athletes lifted the same weight – 390 kilogram – but the Georgian could not take the gold because owing that he weighed 51 grams more than his competitors and was instead awarded the bronze medal.