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Chris Murray hopes to have double cause for celebration after weightlifting gold

The 22-year-old from Surrey won in dramatic fashion.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Four
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Four

England’s Chris Murray won weightlifting gold in Birmingham and then vowed not to tell girlfriend and fellow competitor Holly O’Shea about his Commonwealth Games glory.

Murray won the men’s 81kg weightlifting final after Australia’s Kyle Bruce and Canadian Nicolas Vachon failed to overtake him in dramatic circumstances.

But Murray’s thoughts instantly turned to girlfriend O’Shea, who was Gibraltar’s flagbearer at the opening ceremony and is competing at these Games in the women’s 71kg category on Monday night.

Murray said: “She told me she wasn’t going to watch and try not to find out the result.

“This is her Games too and she’s worked so hard to get here. I don’t want anything about her day to be about me.

“Hopefully no one tells her the result and afterwards we can celebrate together.”

Murray led at the halfway point after completing a 144kg snatch, with Bruce, his, closest challenger, trying and failing twice to lift 147kg.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Four
Chris Murray reacts after a successful lift in the men’s 81kg weightlifting competition (Bradley Collyer/PA)

The flawless four-time British champion lifted 181kg in the clear and jerk and his new Games record of 325kg proved a winning total.

Bruce successfully completed a 180kg clean and jerk and initially got three green lights for his 183kg attempt, which would have put him into the gold medal position.

But it was ruled out by the jury because his left elbow was bent.

Vachon’s victory attempt was undone when he dropped the bar after appearing to make a successful lift.

“I couldn’t watch it,” said the 22-year-old Murray, who was born in Surrey and trains in Loughborough.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Four
Chris Murray in action during the men’s 81kg weightlifting competition at Birmingham 2022 (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I had a towel over my head, the earphones in, and had a bit of a cry. I was so overwhelmed.

“Part of me is a bit upset I didn’t watch it, but I couldn’t put myself through it.

“I was just so happy with the British record and PBs and that was enough for me.

“When my coach told me I’d won gold I broke down again. To win in front of a home crowd is amazing.”

Tokyo Olympics 2020 – Kitting Out – Birmingham NEC
England’s Zoe Smith just missed out on a medal in the women’s 64kg weightlifting final at the NEC in Birmingham (Zac Goodwin/PA)

England’s Zoe Smith finished fourth in the women’s 64kg final.

Smith briefly went into the bronze medal position with a new 122kg Commonwealth Games clean and jerk record.

But that record was smashed by Canada’s Maude Charron who took gold with a combined total of 231kg, 15kg more than Australia’s Sarah Cochrane.

Nigeria’s Islamiyat Adebukola Yusuf was third on 212kg, two kilos above Smith. Wales’ Christie Williams was seventh and Northern Ireland’s Caroline Doyle ninth.

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