News Olympic Weightlifting QATAR 2023

IWF Grand Prix II, Day 9 Recap – Men’s 102 kg: Meso Reigns the Qatari Podium Repeating the 4-Year-Age Gold Win

Day 9 and the Men’s 102-kg category at the Qatar World Cup brought the house down by showing a striking session. Unbelievably tough battle, personal records, true emotions of triumph and tears of defeat.

Like the 89-kg weight category, the Men’s 102 division is pretending to be the most competitive and thrilling in the world of weightlifting where World and Olympic champions keep on pushing them hard towards the selection period.

Watch the video to feel the energy of today’s competition and witness this unreal battle!

Athletes’ Presentation

Today 12 weightlifters were competing in Doha intending to break new records and defeating their rivals with no chances for them to get closer to the Top positions. Although the following lifters are supposed to be today’s leaders who are determined to fight for the Top 3. The battle between our favorite athletes was pretty tough and breathtaking.


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So, the expected leaders of today’s competition reserved 390 kg for the opening total:

Liu Huanhua, a World Champion and Asian Games champion who set the Games Record in Clean & Jerk and totals;

Don Opeloge, four-time Oceania Champion, Commonwealth Games gold and silver medalist 2018 and 2022, representing Samoa;

Armenian Garik Karapetyan, the European Champion and the current Junior World Record holder in Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and totals;

While Elbakh Fares Ibrahim, the first Qatari Olympic champion, World Champion and two-time Junior World Champion, holding the Junior world record in Clean & Jerk and totals. He ordered 400 kg. He’s expected to be today’s star who has all chances to win.

Meso Hassouna
Meso Hassouna


The performance in the Snatch exercise started from 160 kg.

  • 6: SHARANKOU Siarhei – 171 kg
  • 5: BRATU Tudor – 175 kg
  • 4: LIU Huanhua  – 176 kg

On this contest day, 48 % of all attempts were successful which is a below-average rate.

Top 3 Leaders’ Results

Now let’s analyze the Top 3 lifters’ performance:

  • 🥇KARAPETYAN Garik – 180 kg
  • 🥈TSIKHANTSOU Yauheni – 177 kg
  • 🥉ELBAKH Fares Ibrahim E. H. – 176 kg

Qatari El-Bakh Fares Ibrahim, known as Meso Hassouna, won the bronze medal in Snatch by lifting 176 kg. The first attempt was 172 kg, the second of 176 kg, and the last of 180 kg resulting in no lift. He repeated his result of the 2019 Qatar Cup with the same final weight lifted in Snatch. However he fell behind his best lift by 2 kilos.

The second place went to Tsikhantsou Yauheni who snatched one kilo more than Meso – 177 kg. He did the first attempt at 166 kg, didn’t lift 176 kg on the second try, and resulted in a 177 kg-attempt. Today he showed 3 kilos less than his best Snatch of 180 kg, which also brought him silver at the Worlds.
The gold medal went to Armenian Garik Karapetyan who managed to lift 180kg by accumulating all his power. He did 172 kg on the first attempt, the second lift was unsuccessful at 180 kg, but he pushed himself hard to cope with the 180-kg barbell. He improved his gold-win Snatch he did at the European Championships by 2 kg.

Elbakh Fares Ibrahim

Snatch results

Summing up the Snatch results, the competition between the lifters was almost head-to-head without a great weight gap in their final attempts. It was obvious that Meso Hassouna had great audience support as he was performing in Qatar, his second homeland.

This aspect would bring him more confidence and a sense of supremacy compared to his contenders. Unfortunately, he didn’t lift enough weight to become a gold or silver medalist, thus he secured bronze for the country.

Meanwhile, Garik Karapetyan outshined today with a superb final lift of 180 kg. By the way, other Armenian lifters who didn’t compete this time, namely Gor Minasyan and Varazdat Lalayan were supporting their compatriot Karapetyan sitting on the sidelines.

Tsikhantsou Yauheni became a silver medalist in Snatch with 177 kg, almost approved to his best Snatch of 180 kg.

What about the rest of the athletes within the Top 6, the Chinese athlete Liu Huanhua was fourth with the result of 176 kg. The fifth and 6th places were occupied by the lifters from Group B Moldavian Bratu Tudor, and Sharankou Siarhei who made 171 kg.

Clean & Jerk

The contest in the Clean & Jerk discipline started with a weight of 190 kg.

  • 6: TSIKHANTSOU Yauheni – 210 kg
  • 5: KARAPETYAN Garik – 211 kg
  • 4: BRATU Tudor – 215kg

39 % of all attempts in this exercise were successful which is a below-average rate.

Elbakh Fares Ibrahim

Top 3 leaders’ results

Let’s describe the performance of the Top 3 lifters:

  • 🥇ELBAKH Fares Ibrahim E. H. – 224 kg
  • 🥈LIU Huanhua  – 222kg
  • 🥉OPELOGE Don – 216 kg

Opeloge Don from Samoa clinched third place by lifting 216 kg on the second attempt. His first try was 208 kg, then he did 8 kilos more of 216 kg. The final attempt was 220 kg, but he didn’t manage to lift such a weight. He improved his Commonwealth-record in Clean & Jerk of 207 kg by 9 kilos.

The silver medalist in Clean & Jerk became Liu Huanhua from China with a result of 222 kg on the second attempt. Today he started the performance with 210 kg, then moving to 222 kg on the second try. The third attempt of 225 kg resulted in failure.

Fares Ibrahim El-Bakh became a gold winner with the incredible lift of 224 kg that brought him victory. Finally he was in his natural environment as powerful and technical lifts are his strong sides. Meso was too close to his previous Qatar Cup and Olympic Clean & Jerk, just 1 kilo left to equal the result.

Clean & Jerk Results

At this exercise we witnessed the ultimate strength and skillful lifting from Meso Hassouna who was trying to repeat his triumph in Doha in 2018 and ’19. Still, 224 kg was enough to win a gold medal and have a 2-kg cushion over his Chinese opponent.

The silver went to Liu Huanhua from China. While Don Opeloge took the third place and moved Garik Karapetyan to the 5th place with a weight margin of 5 kg between them.

Again, the Group B lifter from Moldova Bratu Tudor became fourth with a result of 215 kg, Karapetyan became fifth, and the six place left for Tsikhantsou with 210 kg.

Total Results

  • 🥇ELBAKH Fares Ibrahim E. H. – 400 kg
  • 🥈LIU Huanhua  – 398 kg
  • 🥉КARAPETYAN Garik – 391 kg
  • 4: BRATU Tudor – 390 kg
  • 5 TSIKHANTSOU Yauheni – 387 kg
  • 6 OPELOGE Don – 386 kg

The gold medalist in the division was Fares Ibrahim El-Bakh who did 400 kg overall. It was his fourth-best total result since his gold win at the Qatar Cup in 2019.

The silver medal went to Liu Huanhua who got 398 kg overall, showing average results compared to his incredible total of 418 kg at the Asians in Hangzhou.

Garik Karapetyan took bronze due to his total of 391 kg, thanks to his powerful Snatch lift. This result was one kilo less than his totals at the Europeans in Yerevan.

Meso Hassouna

Final Thoughts

The battle in the Men’s 102-kg division brought us new legends who occupied the Top places and proved their strong will and grit to overcome obstacles on their way to win. 

Frankly speaking, today we expected more tough weights from top weightlifters. Nevertheless, Meso Hassouna’s triumph made this day. He managed to meet his country’s expectations and hopes: he won gold as he did at the Qatar Cup before the Tokyo Olympics when he won gold as well.

Subscribe to our channels and keep watching the Qatar Cup with us, as the competition is at its culminating point. The last competition day is already in one day and two last Olympic categories are already ready to hit the podium!

Thumb up and get firsthand information about this spectacular event. Stay strong and remember – warm body cold mind!

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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