One could not have imagined a better beginning of the Games of the XXVII Olympiad. It was already on the second day of competition that the -62 weight class weightlifting competition took place at the Convention Centre.
Croatia's representative Nikolay Pechalov tactically outwitted and bested three-time Olympic Champion and one of the most famous weightlifters today, Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey, who had come to win his fourth Olympic gold. In the snatch event, Pechalov announced the 140 kg starting weight only to raise it to 145 kg when he was stepping on the platform. This is how he outwitted Suleymanoglu, who had to raise the weight to 142.5 kg according to rules, but failed to lift it in three attempts. This is how Nikolay got rid of the most serious opponent. But there was still excellent Greek competitor Leonidas Sabanis, who easily lifted 147.5 kg. Pechalov responded with 150 kg, which he failed to lift in the second attempt, but he did succeed in the last attempt. He took the lead and practically secured the gold medal. Superbly prepared and motivated, Pechalov could not lose the great advantage as the clean and jerk event is a matter of technique. When he lifted 175 kg on his first clean and jerk attempt, he definitely secured the gold medal and set a new Olympic record and tied the world record with 325 kg. As he had two more attempts left, Pechalov announced 185 kg – three times his body weight – but failed to lift it. However, he had a 7.5 kg advantage over Sabanis, who finished second, and Oleshchuk of Belarus, who finished third.Nikolay Pechalov's gold medal raised the spirits on the Croatian Olympic team, but despite the expectations and a number of good performances, Croatia's athletes did not manage to win more medals right away. Hopes were raised by an excellent performance of the men's eight rowing crew, who brilliantly won the heat and advanced directly to the final. Already the participation in the Olympic final of the most elite rowing event was a great success. But the squad led by coach Igor Čulin did not think in that way and decided to do their best on the ninth, last day of the rowing competition at the Penrith Lakes. In the last event of the rowing regatta, Croatia's eight had an excellent start and they closely followed the brilliant Great Britain crew, who included Croatian-born Luka Grubor. The Croatian eight kept their strokes strong and synchronised and almost came abreast with Great Britain halfway through the race. At the 1500m mark, they were 2 seconds behind Great Britain, but 1.5 seconds ahead of Australia, who picked up the pace, as did Italy. Croatia kept up relentlessly. Australia overtook them at the finish but Croatia managed to outperform Italy to win the bronze medal, leaving behind rowing giants Italy, USA and Romania.