Kazakhstan's Ilya Ilyin on Saturday nailed all six lifts, broke two world records and defended his Olympic title from four years ago.
Even more extraordinary: He made it look easy.
Most lifters in the 94-kilogram (207-pound) class paused for a few seconds as they gripped the bar, collecting themselves for the excruciating effort of lifting one-fourth of a ton over one's head.
Ilyin marched up to the bar with quick steps and hoisted it in the air so fast that by the time a ''good lift'' was announced he already was celebrating.
Buoyed by an ecstatic crowd inside the ExCeL center's weightlifting arena, the spiky-haired Ilyin lifted 185 kilograms (407.855 pounds) in the snatch and a world-record 233 kilograms (513.677 pounds) in the clean and jerk for a total of 418 kilograms (921.532 pounds).
That also was a world record, a whopping six kilogams (13.2277 pounds) better than the pre-competition mark set in 1999.
Silver medalist Alexandr Ivanov of Russia matched Ilyin in the snatch but was without chance in the clean and jerk, despite registering a total of 409 kilograms (901.691 pounds) that exceeded Ilyin's Olympic record from 2008.
Anatoli Ciricu of Moldova took bronze, two kilograms behind Ivanov.
Ukraine's Artem Ivanov, second to Ilyin at last year's worlds, never showed up for the weigh-in. He told Ukrainian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda he was injured three weeks before the Olympics.
A national hero in Kazakhstan, Ilyin remains undefeated in international competition. With three world championship titles and two Olympic gold medals, he's one of the true superstars in the sport.
Still, it wasn't a foregone conclusion that he would win in London. To stay No. 1 in this sport for four years is rare; no other weightlifting gold medalist from Beijing has repeated the feat in London.
China's 2008 winner Lu Yong came close in the 85-kilogram (187.393-pound) competition, but bombed out after missing all attempts in the clean and jerk.
Ilyin's gold medal was Kazakhstan's fifth in the London Games and the fourth in weightlifting.