Matthias Steiner lost his balance Tuesday trying to lift 196 kilograms in his second lift of the snatch portion of the competition. He fell awkwardly to the platform as the barbell crashed down on him.
Medical personnel rushed up to tend to the German, who got onto his feet and waved to the crowd as he walked into the back room. He didn't come out for his third attempt.
"He is in a bit of pain in the back, and they don't want him to get a real heavy injury," said Harold Strier, a spokesman for Germany's weightlifting federation.
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