Kiwi strongman David Liti has fallen short of defending his super-heavyweight lifting crown at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, claiming silver.
The popular giant, who also won the David Dixon Award for sportsmanship at Gold Coast four years ago, simply could not match the strength of Pakistan's Muhammad Butt, accumulating a total of 394kg across the snatch and clean & jerk disciplines at the NEC Hall.
Butt set Commonwealth Games records across snatch (173kg), clean and jerk (232kg) and total (405kg) to dominate from his first lift.
"So proud, so happy," said Liti. "Just not my day today and next time, we'll come back stronger for sure.
"Preparation and everything comes into play, but the Games really just depend on the day and today wasn't mine."
Liti's lifts of 170kg snatch and 224kg clean & jerk were both well down on his national records of 182k and 236kg, which may have been enough to overcome Butt. His 414kg total to finish fifth at the Tokyo Olympics would have prevailed at Birmingham, but the ever-popular Liti remained humble.
As he and Butt duelled during the clean & jerk, both repeatedly changed weight on the bar, trying to gain a mental edge. Eventually, Liti had to concede the victory, failing with a final attempt at 232kg that would not have put him ahead, even if successful.
"It was fun," he said. "It was what I wanted from this competition.
"Mohammad came out good and it is what it is. Next time, we'll definitely be stronger."
Liti admits the pressure of defending his title weighed heavily on him.
"It was not very nice, but I perform under pressure and diamonds are made out of pressure, so I didn't mind it."
Liti's silver was the only weightlifting medal from the New Zealand contingent at Birmingham.