Bruce denied Games weightlifting gold

Steve Jancetic and Roger Vaughan |

Australian weightlifter Kyle Bruce was gutted after judges relegated him to the silver medal.
Australian weightlifter Kyle Bruce was gutted after judges relegated him to the silver medal.

Australian Kyle Bruce has been sensationally denied Commonwealth Games gold after judges wiped out what would have been the winning lift, handing the top prize to hometown hope Chris Murray.

Sarah Cochrane won a second weightlifting silver medal for Australia on Monday in the 64kg class.

And eight weeks after dislocating her knee in training, and then suffering gastro a few days before her competition, Kiana Elliott finished fourth in the 71kg.

Bruce was celebrating with his team after his final lift of 183kg in the clean and jerk section had been given the green light, only for the English team to lodge an appeal.

The lift, which would have set a new Games record, was then ruled out due to a hand press – where the elbow is deemed to have not locked properly.

The Australian team immediately challenged the call, which led to another review by the same judging panel, but it was thrown out less than a minute later to send the packed NEC Arena into raptures.

Bruce was forced to settle for silver after Canada’s Nicolas Vachon failed with his last-ditch bid to snatch gold – the 23-year-old from western Sydney showing remarkable composure in accepting the decision.

“A little bit in the recovery (during the lift) I was a bit shaky but I feel like my elbows were fully locked, it was just heavy weight,” Bruce said.

“I’m 80kg and I’m throwing 183kg over my head, its going to shake around, yeah?

“I haven’t seen the footage yet so I’m not 100 per cent sure, I can’t really say anything right now.

“But, that’s the decision, that’s how sport goes, unfortunately it just wasn’t my day in that regard.”

Bruce believes there is no further avenue for appeal, following the initial challenge, and has vowed to come back hungrier, with his sights set on the 2024 Olympics and 2026 Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria.

His total in Birmingham of 323kg, two kilograms less than Murray’s winning amount, was well short of his personal best of 331kg set last year.

Later on Monday, Cochrane impressed as Olympic champion Maude Charron of Canada dominated.

Cochrane lifted a 216kg total to finish 4kg clear of Nigerian Islamiyat Yusuf.

But Charron was in a different league, confirming the gold medal with her first clean and jerk lift.

Her best snatch lift of 101kg, her 130kg clean and jerk and 231kg totals are all Games records.

In the 71kg, Elliott had the bronze until the very last lift of the competition.

After failing on her first attempt and needing brief medical attention, English star Sarah Davies nailed the lift and that put Elliott out of the medals.