Judges under fire after Aussie 'robbed' in Comm Games 'disgrace'

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Kyle Bruce, Christopher Murray and Nicolas Vachon, pictured here with their medals after the men's 81kg final at the Commonwealth Games.
Kyle Bruce, Christopher Murray and Nicolas Vachon pose with their medals after the men's 81kg final at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Australian fans and commentators were left absolutely fuming on Monday night at the Commonwealth Games when weightlifter Kyle Bruce was denied gold by a controversial judges decision.

Bruce was sensationally denied the gold medal after judges wiped out what would have been the winning lift, handing the top prize to hometown hope Chris Murray of England.

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Bruce was celebrating with his team after his final lift of 183kg in the clean and jerk section had been given the green light, only for the English team to lodge an appeal.

The lift, which would have been a new Commonwealth Games record, was then ruled out due to a 'hand press' - where the lifter's elbow is deemed to have not locked properly.

The Aussie team immediately challenged the call, which led to another review by the same judging panel, but it was thrown out less than a minute later.

Bruce was forced to settle for the silver medal, with the 23-year-old reduced to tears while speaking to the media.

"A little bit in the recovery (during the lift) I was a bit shaky but I feel like my elbows were fully locked, it was just heavy weight," Bruce said.

"I'm 80kg and I'm throwing 183kg over my head, its going to shake around, yeah?

"I haven't seen the footage yet so I'm not 100 per cent sure, I can't really say anything right now.

"But, that's the decision, that's how sport goes, unfortunately it just wasn't my day in that regard."

Kyle Bruce, pictured here performing his clean and jerk during the men's 81kg final at the Commonwealth Games.
Kyle Bruce performs his clean and jerk during the men's 81kg final at the Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Bruce, who wears his father’s compression shirt after his dad’s death in 2015, was incredibly classy in defeat.

“Sometimes it’s just how the sport goes and congratulations to Chris on winning it. He was the good lifter on the day and I just got a bit unlucky there," he said.

“My only focus and goal coming into these Games was winning that gold medal for Australia and coming away with that silver.

"Not going to lie, is quite disappointing. I set my standards very high but that’s just how sport goes sometimes and I’ll be ready for 2026 and I’ll come back and have some redemption I think.

“My dad actually passed away in 2015 and I just wear his shirt because ... so he’s always there with me.

“Just so he’s always there for me. This one’s for him.”

Kyle Bruce, pictured here during the medal ceremony with Christopher Murray and Nicolas Vachon.
Kyle Bruce (L) looks on during the medal ceremony with Christopher Murray and Nicolas Vachon. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Aussies up in arms over Commonwealth Games 'disgrace'

Bruce admitted there is no further avenue for appeal following the initial challenge, and vowed to come back hungrier at the 2024 Olympics in Paris and 2026 Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria.

His total in Birmingham of 323kg, two kilograms less than Murray's winning amount, was well short of his personal best of 331kg set last year.

Channel 7 host Mel McLaughlin described the scenes with Bruce as “heartbreaking”, while Aussie netball legend Catherine Cox said: “Sport is horrible. It is also good in the same package.”

Fans and pundits were left fuming over the result on social media, with some describing it as a 'joke' and a 'disgrace'.

Later on Monday, Sarah Cochrane won a second weightlifting silver medal for Australia in the 64kg class.

And eight weeks after dislocating her knee in training, and then suffering gastro a few days before her competition, Kiana Elliott finished fourth in the 71kg.

with AAP

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