By Brian Oliver at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Almaty

Daniel Godelli has won the first European gold medal of the 2014 Weightlifting World Championships ©IWF/InstagramDaniel Godelli won Europe's first gold medals of this year's International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in an exciting tussle for the men's 77 kilogram title here today.

As well as being Albania's first world title in weightlifting, it was the first time an Albanian had won a World Championship gold in any sport on the Olympic programme.

Godelli failed with a brave world-record attempt of 211kg in the clean-and-jerk, but his total of 369kg gave him overall victory by two kilograms.

Albania's previous best had been the silver medal by Ilirian Suli in the men's 85kg snatch in 2002.

There was also a snatch bronze for Romela Begaj in 2011, in the women's 58kg.

She competes today in the 63kg.

Despite the scale of the achievement, Godelli declined to attend the post-event press conference, as his team said they were unable to provide an interpreter.

North Korea also stayed away, despite Kim Kwang-song having won gold in the clean-and-jerk, leaving only China's Guoshun Zhong, who took snatch silver, clean-and-jerk bronze and overall silver, to answer questions.

Daniel Godelli from Albania is the new 77kg world champion ©IWF/FacebookDaniel Godelli from Albania is the new 77kg world champion ©IWF/Facebook

Zhong, a junior world champion at 69kg in 2006, was selected because his more illustrious team-mate and multiple champion, Lü Xiaojun, was rested after the Asian Games.

China prepared two teams, one for those Games in Incheon in September, and for these Championships in Kazakhstan.

"I have been in good form over the past year or so, but I can't beat Lü," said Zhong, who said he was capable, in training, of 12-13kg more than his 367kg total here.

He failed with two of his clean-and-jerk attempts but so did many others.

There were 17 failures and only 16 good lifts in the clean-and-jerk, which Kim won with 200kg.

Zhong praised Godelli as a formidable lifter, but said he believed the attempt at 211kg for the world record was too much: he was right.

There was a lot of support from a noisy crowd here for Kirill Pavlov, the Kazakh lifter who finished fourth in the clean-and-jerk and overall.

Pavlov, the only one of 11 men to make six out of six lifts, was in contention for a medal and, for the second time this week home supporters disappointingly cheered failures by other contenders.

Godelli, 22, a junior world champion in 2011, was also Albania's first gold medallist in the European Championships.

He won the clean-and-jerk gold in front of his home crowd in Tirana in 2013.

This year he was beaten for the European title by his compatriot Erkand Qerimaj, who made only two good snatch lifts and did not register a total here.

Kim's gold in the clean-and-jerk, with 200kg, takes North Korea level with China on seven golds here, with four days to go.