China took its third Olympic gold medal in weightlifting Wednesday night when Zhang Guozheng held on to win the men's 69kg class at the Nikaia Olympic Hall.
World champion for the past two years, Zhang got off to a flying start with a 160kg snatch to give him a 7.5kg advantage over Lee Bae Young of South Korea.
Lee fought back in the clean and jerk to a position where he could have level with Zhang on his final lift and take gold on bodyweight difference. But he failed and finished with a total of 342.5kg which was 5kg less than Zhang.
The bronze medal went to Nikolay Pechalov of Croatia, who has joined Ronny Weller of Germany and Norbert Schemansky of the United States as the only weightlifters to win four medals at Olympic Games.
"I felt pain in my back during my attempts today, but also during training the previous days," Zhang told reporters.
Zhang had his waist injured and tumbled on the platform after his third attempt in the clean and jerk.
"I was a bit worried during the clean and jerk competition that I was in pain," he said. "In my second attempt (at 192.5kg), the pain got worse," he said.
"Fortunately, I was successful," he said. "So I am very happy."
Lee Bae Young, the silver medallist who had expected the gold, said he was satisfied with his performance.
"I am very pleased," he said. "I thought I had a chance to win the gold medal but I just couldn't make it in my final attempt in the clean and jerk."
Nicolay Pechalov of Croatia, also expressed his satisfaction over his performance.
"I am 35 years old," he said. "This is the fourth medal I have won at Olympic Games. I am very happy."
Results of men's 69kg weightlifting category
Following are the results of men's 69kg weightlifting category at the 28th Olympic Games on Wednesday:
1. Zhang Guozheng, 347.5 (160/187.5)
2. Lee Bae Young, 342.5 (152.5/190)
3. Nikolay Pechalov, Croatia, 337.5 (150/187.5)
4. Turan Mirzayev, Azerbaijan, 332.5 (147.5/185)
5. Vencelas Dabaya Tientcheu, Cameroon, 327.5 (145/182.5)
6. Siarhei Laurenau, Belarus, 317.5 (147.5/170)
7. Romuald Ernault, France, 307.5 (142.5/165)
8. Yukio Peter, Nauru, 302.5 (142.5/160)