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China's Cao conquers Russians to retain 75kg world titles
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Cao Lei of China claimed her second consecutive world title in the women's 75kg division after defeating two Russian lifters at the world weightlifting championships yesterday.


Cao, 24, combined lifts of 128kg in the snatch with 158kg in the clean and jerk to finish with 286kg, equivalent to the total she lifted at last year's world championships and the world record.

"I just did what I usually did in the training. I am quite confident about myself," Cao said.

Natalia Zabolotnaya of Russia, silver medalist at the worlds in 2005, broke her own world record in the snatch when she lifted 131kg in her third attempt.

"I came here for the gold medal of course. Breaking world records was also in my plan," Zabolotnaia said.

"I didn't perform well in the jerk, otherwise I could win the gold medal of the total," she added.

"Maybe I was a little bit panic in the jerk."

Cao hoisted 158kg in the jerk but failed to break the world record when attempting to lift 160kg. The world record in the jerk was set by Cao's compatriot Liu Chunhong at 159kg in 2005.

"We were going to try our best in the competition, but actually, it was really hard to say that we can earn the gold for sure before the event. We are more confident now," said Ma Wenhui, Cao's coach.

"Every lifter tries to win the Olympic ticket in 2008 and so do I," Cao said.

"But if I can't go to the Olympics, I will also feel proud of my teammates."

Zabolotnaya, 22, took silver on 281kg and her compatriot Nadezda Evstyukhina had bronze on 278kg.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2007)

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