RIGA - Latvia's Viktors Scerbatihs took the European gold last week in Sofia, lifting a total 450 kilograms (200 + 250) and becoming the strongest man on the continent.
The victory for the 30-year-old comes after two silver-medal performances 's at the Olympics in Athens and the European championship in Kiev last year 's in the super-heavyweight category. The Latvian's best results in recent competitions were 432.5 kilograms, and he himself admitted he was concerned about his condition.
"I did not hope for the gold medal and was not sure at all that I would get it because I have not yet reached my top form after the Olympics," Scerbatihs, who beat the silver medalist by 2.5 kilograms, was quoted as saying.
"Therefore, I am very satisfied with the results."
Scerbatihs went up against three of his top competitors in Europe at the competition. He ordered 195 kilograms straight away in the snatch, managing that with relative ease, and then lifted 200 on his third try.
In the clean and jerk the Latvian started out with 242.5 kilograms and then managed 250 kilos.