Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian lifter Eko Yuli Irawan bagged a gold medal in the IWF Grand Prix held in Havana, Cuba, on Monday, and clocked the best numbers of his career at the age of 33.

The IWF Grand Prix in Cuba is one of the qualifying events for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Irawan struck the yellow metal in the men's 67 kg category after lifting 145 kg in snatch, 176 kg in the clean and jerk segment, and 321 kg in total, according to the IWF records on its website.

Irawan said that he is currently eyeing medals in his fifth appearance at the Olympics after pocketing medals in four consecutive Olympics -- bronze in Beijing and London and silver in Rio and Tokyo -- after successfully lifting weights ranging from 56 kg to 62 kg.

However, he has never won gold in the Games.

In over 120 years since the sport featured at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, no weightlifter has ever won five medals in the Games.

“I am hoping to be the first to do it (win five medals in Olympics),” Irawan said, who moved up in weight to win in the 67 kg category in the IWF Grand Prix, the third qualifier for Paris 2024.

In Cuba, Irawan finished well ahead of the Colombian 67 kg world champion, Francisco Mosquera, who lifted 136-175-311 kg, to secure the silver medal. Sergio Massidda of Italy won the bronze after lifting 135-165-300 kg.

“Things change when you are over 30 -- (in terms of) recovery, nutrition, sleep -- but I am feeling good and mentally I am prepared,” Irawan stated.

“I am up, from 61 to 67, but this is my best snatch, clean and jerk, and total," he remarked.

Irawan said that he will go back down to 61 kg, where he sits second in the world rankings, after returning to the national training center in Jakarta.

In the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, held in 2021, Irawan failed to bring home gold in the men's 61 kg category after being defeated by his rival from China, Li Fabin.

“Maybe I can beat China next time and finish with gold,” Irawan noted.

Earlier, on Sunday (June 11), another Indonesian lifter Ricko Saputra also won gold medals after lifting 134 kg in snatch, 161 kg in clean and jerk, and 295 kg in total.

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Reporter: Shofi Ayudiana
Editor: Sri Haryati
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