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Chinese lifters take two more golds in never-win categories
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Weightlifting powerhouse China finished its fantastic show on Friday, harvesting two more golds in the categories which the country had never won at Olympics.

Cao Lei claimed the women's 75kg title on Friday afternoon.

Cao, 24, totaled 282kg, 16kg more than the lift of silver medalist Alla Vazhenina of Kazakhstan who was ranked first by entry total.

Cao tried to break the total world record of 286kg in her third jerk attempt, by ordering 159kg, but failed. She later explained that she could not focus on the last attempt because she thought of her mother, who passed away not long ago.

Cao, two-time world champion, dominated the field as she snatched 128kg, and jerked 154kg, breaking three Olympic records.

"I dedicate the gold to my mom," said the "weightlifting beauty" after the game.

The bronze went to Russian strongwoman Nadezda Evstyukhina, who cleared 264kg.

Later in the evening, Lu Yong was crowned in the men's 85kg category, winning China's eighth weightlifting gold in the Games and broke the jinx that China had never won gold in the heavyweight categories at Olympics.

After a breath-taking moment, the 22-year-old lifted a total of 394kg, beating two-time world champion and Athens silver medalist Andrei Rybakou of Belarus with bodyweight advantage.

Rybakou broke his own world record of total, bettering it by one kilo.

Lu's second jerk attempt of 214kg, which would make him claim the title, was ruled out by the jury members as "bad". But Lu stood the tests and made a successful attempt in his last chance.

Armenian Tigran Varban Martirosyan got the bronze also because of bodyweight advantage over Kazakhstan's Vladimir Sedov.

Martirosyan snatched 177kg, and jerked 203, totaling 380kg.

China sent 10 lifters to compete in nine categories in the Beijing Olympics and pocketed eight golds, three more than that at the Athens Games.

All the Chinese women lifters competing at the Games got golds.

Chen Xiexia's win in the women's 48kg category was the first gold for the weightlifting team, and also for the whole Chinese delegation at Beijing Olympics. Chen Yanqing won the women's 56kg, becoming the first strongwoman to successfully defend her Olympic champion title.

Liu Chunhong broke three world records to claim the title in women's 69kg class, becoming the first Chinese to break world record in Beijing.

Chinese women's weightlifting team coach Ma Wenhui said it's not easy for the strongwomen to achieve a sweep.

"They all have tried their best," Ma said, adding that hard work and better strategy contributed to the success.

"We made tactics together with athletes by discussing with them every weight we ordered," he said.

The men lifters also did a good job by winning four golds and one silver.

The gold medalists were Long Qingquan in the 58kg category, Zhang Xiangxiang in 62kg, Liao Hui in 69kg and Lu Yong in 85kg classes. Li Hongli got a silver in 77kg category.

Chinese weightlifting team leader Ma Wenguang said he was satisfied with the athletes' performance.

"I'm happy to see that among the gold medalists, many are young lifters," he said, adding it's important for China's weightlifting to make a sustainable development.

However, he denied the title of "dream team".

"Many opponents didn't make their best performance and there are still problems in our lifters," he said.

There are still four golds on table in the upcoming events.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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