2012-07-31 17:01:59

North Korea Stuns China in Men's Weightlifting

The showdown between North Korea and China in the men's weightlifting competition hasn't turned out as expected - North Korea is winning. And in a big way.

Kim Un-guk, 23, of North Korea outclassed Chinese rival Zhang Jie in the men's 62-kilogram category Monday to grab his country's second weightlifting gold in London, and obliterating Zhang's world record in the process.

As if that wasn't enough, Zhang, the 2011 world champion, finished off the podium after spectacular performances by silver medalist Oscar Figueroa Mosquera of Colombia and Indonesia's Eko Yuli Irawan, who took bronze.

On Sunday, North Korea's Om Yun-chol finished ahead of a Chinese opponent to win the gold medal in the 56-kilogram division, lifting three times his body weight in the clean and jerk for an Olympic record.

Asked if North Korea could challenge China as the dominant weightlifting team at these Olympics, Kim leaned in and uttered ``yes'' in English.

Kim was world champion in 2010 but lost the crown to Zhang last year. He got his revenge in London.

Pumped up with confidence, he did a victory dance already after the snatch, where he lifted 153 kilograms in his third attempt, equaling the world record and setting a new Olympic mark.

Zhang only managed 140 kilograms in the snatch, failing two attempts at 145 kilos, putting him virtually out of contention for the gold medal heading into the clean and jerk.

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