Olympics: Weightlifter celebrates, then blacks out and falls off stage

Milko Tokola celebrates a lift on Aug 12, 2016.
Milko Tokola celebrates a lift on Aug 12, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Mullet-haired Finnish weightlifter Milko Tokola wildly celebrated a successful lift, then blacked out and fell head first off the stage at the Rio Olympics on Friday (Aug 12).

The 23-year-old raised 175kg above his head on the clean and jerk, pumped his fists and roared in celebration before collapsing like a rag doll as he tried to exit the platform.

"It happens sometimes, but that was the first time for a while," Tokola said cheerily afterwards.

"I have a problem where sometimes when I give 120 per cent I pass out. It's when I put my body through too much in that moment.

"Doctors have investigated and they think maybe it's to do with blood levels in the brain when I lift heavyweights," the Finn added.

Tokola, who was making his first Olympic appearance, notched 145kg in the snatch for a combined total of 320 to lie ninth after the Group B event in the men's 85kg.

"I don't remember anything about the fall but I have a little bit of a headache now, said Tokola, who is due to get married in two weeks.

Spectators gasped as Tokola tumbled.

His coaching team rushed to his aid and were able to get him on his feet within a minute, leading the dazed lifter back on stage.

"Even though it will have been on TV, I don't feel any embarrassment because I won't see it, so I don't care," he said.

"I'm an Olympic athlete now and I'm so happy."