Flawless Chris Murray said he was overwhelmed at winning weightlifting gold but urged the sport to dumb down its processes after a controversial video review handed him Commonwealth Games glory.
Guildford’s Murray, 23, set a new Games record for the men’s 81kg of 325kg but Australia’s Kyle Bruce was left seething with silver and wondering if hometown advantage went against him after his vital last clean and jerk was initially called good before being overturned.
Murray blitzed his PB by snatching 144kg and jerking 181kg in front of a roaring NEC in in Birmingham to guarantee a medal, but Bruce appeared to have wrestled gold from his grasp before the jury stepped in.
Murray said: “I can’t sum it up. I’ll be in my room tonight still not being able to put it into words. It’s truly incredible.
“I got back to my platform where I’d been warming up and I just collapsed. To come out and hit personal bests on the biggest stage, I’m so overwhelmed with that feeling and I didn’t even care what medal I got at that point because I’d done what I needed to do.
“I haven’t seen it but I feel for him [Kyle Bruce]. I think it’s great that they’ve got video review but do you need three referees or just need a jury and how easy was it for the crowd to understand?
“Weightlifting needs Games like this to engage the community but unfortunately with all of these technical stops, it’s not doing its job - it makes it confusing to follow.”
Bruce was humble as runner-up with England finally getting one over a rampant Australia who have set the pace at this Games and although he disagreed with the call is looking forward to a spike in business at the Parramatta gym he owns with his partner.
He said: “Sometimes it’s the way the cookie crumbles, that’s high level sport and I’ll be back.
“I feel like my elbows were fully locked. It was just heavy weight, I’m 80kg and I’m throwing 183kg above my head. It’s going to shake around, it’s a bit heavy! But that’s OK, it's alright.”
Murray - whose idol is boxer Muhammad Ali - stalked the bar before every lift as if it was his prey, attacking the weight with full vigour and channelling a combination of his favourite country music playlist and the home support to max out his rewards.
He added: “I like to use the phrase that I’m a racehorse. I just want to race, I just want to get out there and be let loose.
“It’s not about psyching me up as the crowd does that and the adrenaline gets me going.
“It’s about having something that I know the words to just to ground myself and keep me in that moment before I start lifting.
Murray now has to solve the conundrum of Paris 2024 after his weight category was scrapped from the Olympic programme, meaning he must either gain or lose 8kgs to compete.
He said: “I’m going to go for Paris. I can put on the weight by eating a load of cake, it’s whether that is realistic or not.
“Right now I’m just enjoying being the strongest I’ve ever been.”
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