The last two gold medals had been won by Vasily Alekseyev who also won the 1977 World Championships. Alekseyev was injured at the 1978 Worlds and did not compete internationally until he was listed on the Soviet team for the 1980 Olympics. He was expected to be challenged by his teammate Sultan Rakhmanov, the 1979 World Champion. In the snatch, Rakhmanov hoisted an Olympic record 195.0 kg, but Alekseyev failed on all three attempts, and his weightlifting career was over. Rakhmanov also had the best clean & jerk, with 245.0 kg, winning the gold medal by equalling Alekseyev’s Olympic record total of 440.0 kg. The silver went to East Geran Jürgen Heuser, the 1978 World Champion, while the bronze was won by Poland’s Tadeusz Rutkowski, who had also won an Olympic bronze medal in 1976 in the heavyweight class (≤110 kg).