Medal hopeful makes good in men’s weighliftingTwelve years have passed since Chun Byung-kwan won gold for Korea in the 56-kilogram division of men’s Olympic weightlifting. Lee Bae-young responded Wednesday with a silver medal at Athens, where the athlete lifted a total of 342.5 kilograms in the 69-kilogram division.
Zhang Guozheng of China, who outweighs Lee by 300 grams, was ahead by 7.5 kilograms in the snatch with 160 kilograms. But Zhang failed to lift 192.5 kilograms in the clean and jerk. A weightlifting score is calculated by adding one’s best performances in each of these two movements.
Lee answered by attempting to lift 195 kilograms. If he had lifted it, Lee would have won the gold medal on account of his lighter body weight. Lee was unsuccessful, however, and Zhang won the gold medal by lifting a total of 347.5 kilograms.
The Chinese lifter’s gold continues China’s domination in men’s weightlifting. Nikolay Pechalov of Croatia came in third with 337.5 kilograms at his fourth Olympic Games.
Lee has long been a source of medal hope for South Korea; he’s won more than 20 weightlifting events at home, and came in seventh at the Sydney Games, his first Olympics. Jang Mi-ran will be competing in the women’s over-75 kilogram class on Saturday for yet another medal for South Korea.
by Joe Eun-hye
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