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Weightlifting: China wins sixth title, loses seveth
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World weightlifting powerhouse China continued its winning trend in Beijing Olympics as Liu Chunhong broke three world records to retain her Olympics title in women's 69kg division on Wednesday, but another Chinese lifter Li Hongli was beaten by South Korean Sa Jaehyouk at men's 77kg.

The 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. The 23-year-old Liu broke the snatch world record twice at 125kg and 128kg and jerked a new world record 158kg to win the title, totalling 286kg.

Liu claimed her previous Olympic title four years ago also by smashing three world records.

"I think these records won't be broken in two years," said a confident Liu. "I want to show all my strength during the competition. If someone broke it, I would go out to snatch the record back."

Although Russian Oxana Slivenko, who won golds in 2006 and 2007 world championships, finished the snatch session with a disappointing 115kg, eight kilos less than her own world record, the defending champion seemed to have her mind set on getting the record back. She then jerked 136kg and 140kg, securing the silver medal, and gave up the third attempt.

Natalya Davydova of Ukraine took the bronze medal with 250kg.

South Korea won its first gold medal on Wednesday as Sa Jaehyouk emerged from nowhere to claim the men's 77kg title with a total of 366kg, beating Chinese veteran Li Hongli with bodyweight advantage.

Listing third in snatch at 163kg, the South Korean rookie demonstrated a strong power in clean and jerk.

After Li finished his third attempt and jerked 198kg, Sa was still waiting for a heavier weight. He succeeded in first attempt of 201kg, securing the silver, and then jerked 203kg to grab the gold. He then challenged the world jerk record by tried to jerk 211kg in his third attempt, but failed.

Sa was a junior world champion of 69kg category in 2005 and only ranked fifth in 2007 world championships.

"There were two other strong South Koreans were lost in the previous competitions, " said Sa, "They were good at snatch but failed at clean and jerk, so these days I frequently remind me that I couldn't lose in the clean and jerk. But tell the truth, the thought that I failed in clean and jerk kept whirling in my mind."

"It is lucky that I am a simple minded person, it is easy for me to concentrate on the competition itself, and finally I succeed," said Sa.

The bronze went to Gevorg Davtyan, 2007 world championships silver medalist, who totaled 360kg.

Turkish lifter Taner Sagir, defending champion and 2006 world champion, dropped off the competition after failing three attempts for 165kg in snatch, just like his compatriot Nurcan Taylan, another Athens Olympic gold medalist did in the women's 48kg class.

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2008)

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