Greek star Pyrros Dimas, trying to become the first weightlifter to win in four consecutive Olympics, didn't have enough muscle in his final two lifts to win, instead taking a bronze medal as Georgia's George Asanidze earned the gold at 85 kilograms (187 pounds).
Earlier, an aggravated elbow injury cost the United States' Cheryl Haworth any chance of a repeat bronze at super heavyweight. That event was won by China's Tang Gonghong with a world record lift.
Asanidze wasn't bothered that Dimas, one of Greece's biggest sports stars, got a thunderous, standing ovation lasting 15 minutes before and after the awards ceremony from a flag-waving crowd seemingly determined to will him to a gold medal.
"I want to emphasize that Pyrros Dimas is not a bronze medalist, he is a three-time Olympic champion," Asanidze said.
Dimas, 32, placed his shoes on the platform after missing his final two lifts, the traditional sign of retirement. Later, he posed with his three young children on the medals stand and he plunged into the crowd to accept congratulations.
He didn't win, it only seemed that way. "This was my last march," Dimas said. "They showed me love and affection and I appreciated that."
Until yesterday, it wasn't certain if Dimas would even compete because of a hyperextended right elbow that occurred Monday in practice, as well as a recent knee operation.
But he immediately raised 3741/2 pounds (170kg) in the snatch, smiling as he looked to both sides of the packed arena as if to say, "See, I showed you."
He missed at 3851/2 pounds (175kg), then made it on his final snatch attempt to roof-rattling cheers and the chant of "Dee-mas! Dee-mas! Dee-mas!"
South Korea beat Taiwan, 251-245, to win the gold medal in the men's team event.
Im Dong Hyun, Park Kyung Mo and Jang Yong Ho won South Korea's third gold of these Olympics. Ukraine beat the United States, 237-235, to win the bronze.
The South Koreans also won three golds in 2000.
Zhang Jiewen and Yang Wei of China won the gold medal in women's doubles, beating Huang Sui and Gao Ling of China, 7-15, 15-4, 15-8. Ra Kyung Min and Lee Kyung Won of South Korea won the bronze.
Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia won the men's gold, beating Shon Seung Mo of South Korea, 15-8,15-7. Soni Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia won bronze.
Greece won for the first time in Olympic competition, getting 14 hits from its Greek American lineup to beat Italy, 12-7, in a showdown between the two weakest teams.
Japan beat Taiwan, 4-3, in 10 innings on Michihiro Ogasawara's sacrifice fly. With runners on second and third, Yoshimoto Tani was intentionally walked with one out. Ogasawara's fly to left scored Yoshinobu Takahashi, whose homer in the seventh had tied it at 3.
Britain's Bradley Wiggins won the gold medal in men's individual pursuit, finishing the 4,000-meter final in 4 minutes 16.304 seconds.
Wiggins's time was 4.132 seconds ahead of silver medalist Brad McGee of Australia. Spain's Sergi Escobar, with a time of 4:17.947, beat Britain's Rob Hayles for bronze.
Germany's team sprint trio of Jens Fiedler, Rene Wolff and Stefan Nimke edged Japan for the gold medal. The Germans finished in 43.980 seconds. Japan's time for the three-lap gold medal race was 44.246 seconds. France won the bronze medal in 44.359 seconds.
In the three-kilometer pursuit, New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer set a world record to lead qualifying. She was timed in 3:26.400 to improve the mark of 3:29.945 Australia's Katie Mactier had set minutes earlier.
Defending Olympic champion Laura Wilkinson of the United States was fourth after the platform semifinals, needing a comeback and some mistakes by competitors for a chance at another medal.
Chinese teammates Lao Lishi and Li Ting were 1-2 heading into today's final. The duo already won gold in the synchronized platform.
After upsetting Germany in the quarterfinals, the U.S. men's foil squad lost to China in the semifinals and then to Russia in the bronze medal bout. Italy won the gold medal.
In their medal match, the Americans were tied with 10 points to go, then were down 41-38 when Dan Kellner and Youri Moltchan both recorded touches. The referee awarded the point to Russia, and Moltchan went on to close it out.
Britain's Matthew Pinsent won his fourth gold medal after his boat beat Canada in the coxless four in a finish that left every Briton in the venue cheering wildly.
Ralf Schumann of Germany shot 102.9 in the final round to win the gold medal in 25-meter rapid-fire pistol.
Russian Sergei Poliakov shot 100.7 in the final to finish with 692.7 and the silver. His countryman, Sergei Alifirenko, shot 100.3 and won bronze.
Chen Qi and Ma Lin of China won the gold medal in doubles, beating Lai Chak Ko and Ching Li of Hong Kong, 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5.
Michael Maze and Finn Tugwell of Denmark won the bronze.
Yuri Nikitin of Ukraine won the men's gold with 41.5 points, topping five-time world champion Alexander Moskalenko of Russia.
Moskalenko, who came out of retirement to win trampoline's first gold medal in Sydney, won silver with 41.2 points. World champion Henrik Stehlik of Germany won the bronze with 40.80 points.
Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium won the singles gold medal, beating Amelie Mauresmo of France, 6-3, 6-3, in the final. Alicia Molik of Australia beat Anastasia Myskina of Russia, 6-3, 6-4, for the bronze.
Fernando Gonzalez of Chile saved two match points and outlasted Taylor Dent of the United States, 6-4, 2-6, 16-14, to win the men's singles tennis bronze medal in a 31/2-hour match.
Paola Suarez and Patricia Tarabini gave Argentina its first Olympic medal since 1992 by beating Shinobu Asagoe and Ai Sugiyama of Japan, 6-3, 6-3, for the doubles bronze.