North Korea gets another silver medalNorth Korean athletes who perform well at major world sports competitions are awarded the title “Hero of the Democratic People’s Republic.” Yesterday, the country didn’t see the birth of any new heroes but instead saw old heroes putting up stellar performances.
Ri Song-hui, competing in women’s weightlifting, gave her country its second silver medal after Kye Sun-hui won a silver medal in women’s judo only hours earlier by lifting a total of 232.5 kilograms in the 58-kilogram class. It was Ri’s second Olympic silver; she had also won one at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Gold medalist China’s Chen Yanqing, who won the 1999 world championship but went into retirement, rejoined her country’s Olympic team only months before the Games. She clinched the gold medal by lifting five kilograms more than Ri.
Until last year’s world championship, Ri had been competing in the 53-kilogram class. She also won a gold medal at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, and had three world championships under her belt prior to the Athens Games. For Ri, the second-place finish in Athens may have been a disappointment; she had also been favored to win in Sydney. At the Sydney Games, Ri was timed out during her second attempt and had to leave the platform without making the second of her three attempts in the clean and jerk. Mexico’s Soraya Jeminiz won the gold at the time.
by Brian Lee