Liu Chunhong of China takes a snatch lift during the women's 69kg final of weightlifting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Liu set a new world record in snatch lift with 128 kilos.[Yang Lei/Xinhua Photo]
Chinese strongwoman Liu Chunhong broke three world records to retain her Olympic title in the women's 69kg category on Wednesday at the Beijing Olympics.
"I think no one will reach that in the next one to two years, and when someone does I will create more new records," she said.
Liu, 23, snatched 128kg, which is the first world record created by Chinese at Bejing Games, jerked 158kg, totaling 286kg.
Her coach Ma Wenhui run into the platform and hugged Liu.
"I didn't waste my hard training," Liu said.
Instead of an one-to-one battle between Liu Chunhong and Russian lifter Oxana Slivenko as predicted, Wednesday's event turned out to be a perfect one-person show of the Chinese woman Hercules at the Beijing University Aeronautics and Astronautic gymnasium.
Ma, Chinese women's weightlifting team coach, said before the event that it would be an intense competition and Liu may have to break the world record to be the winner.
Although Slivenko finished the snatch session with a disappointing 115kg, eight kilos less than her own world record while Liu easily snatched 120kg in her first attempt, the defending champion seemed to have her mind set on getting the records back.
She succeeded the second attempt of 125kg, bettering the previous score by two kilos, and she shattered the minute-old mark with a lift of 128kg in the third.
Slivenko then jerked 136kg and 140kg, securing the silver medal, and gave up the third attempt.
Liu Chunhong of China takes a successful snatch lift during the women's 69kg final of weightlifting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Liu claimed the title in this event and set a new world record with 128 kilos in snatch lift.[Yang Lei/Xinhua Photo]
It's Liu's turn now.
She succeeded in her first attempt for 145kg and then asked a record-breaking 149kg and made a good lift, totaling 277kg, bettering previous record by one kilo.
"The opponent was not as strong as we had imagined, however, I just concentrated on my own performance," Liu said.
The ambitious lifter didn't stop. In her last attempt, she jerked 158kg and totaled 286kg, rewriting the world record of jerk, previously owned by Russian Zarema Kasaeva, as well as the total, which was newly set by herself.
Ma Wenhui said it's Liu's own decision to make the last attempt, challenging the clean and jerk world record.
"We have nothing else to repay those who have supported us for such a long time but breaking the world records," he said.
Liu claimed her previous Olympic title four years ago also by smashing three world records.
She got injured in 2006 world championships after dominating the category for some four years and in her first come-back events, she lost to Slivenko at 2007 world championships.
"The main task for Chunhong in the past two years was to recover and come back to compete at the Olympics with a full strength,"
Slivenko, who won golds in 2006 and 2007 world championships, got the silver with 255kg.
"It's really scary to compete in such a tournament as the Olympic Games. I was under huge pressure," she said, adding that she felt happy for Liu.
However, she made some complaints about the disadvantage of competing against the host.
"For China it's easier to compete at home," she said.
Natalya Davydova of Ukraine was settled for the third place with 250kg.
"To compete against China and Russia was too difficult for me today," she said.
Liu Chunhong of China hugs her coach Ma Wenhui after winning the women's 69kg final of weightlifting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Liu claimed the title in this event and set new world record of snatch lift with 128 kilos, new world record of clean and jerk lift with 158 kilos and also the new world record of total with 286 kilos. [Yang Lei/Xinhua]
(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)