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Darkhorse Cha Kum-chol shines among world champions
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08:07, September 19, 2007

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Cha Kum-chol of DPR Korea surprisingly beat two world champions to win the gold medal in the men's 56kg category at the world weightlifting championships on Tuesday.

Cha, 20, hoisted 128kg in the snatch and 155kg in the clean and jerk to claim victory with a total of 283kg.

"The training condition in my country is hard, and I am so happy that I can win the gold medal," Cha told the press

"I will go to the Beijing Olympics and try to win gold. I want the world champion and the Olympic champion both," he added.

Stepping up to the bar, Cha flung the weight above his head and gripped it there, looking determined and then letting the weight crash to the floor with a big smile stretched across his face.

Two world champions, Li Zheng and Wu Meijin of China, challenged him in the snatch but could not stop him claiming the gold medal in the clean and jerk.

Li, gold medalist in the worlds in 2005 and 2006, hoisted the same weight with Cha, but took the silver because of body weight disadvantage.

"I was disappointed with the silver today," said Li.

"My physical condition was good, but I was a little bit panic in the jerk. That's why I failed in the first two attempts in the jerk."

Eko Yuli Irawan of Indonesia, placed eighth in the worlds last year, took the bronze with 278kg.

Starting training at the age of 13, Cha made his debut in the Asian junior weightlifting championships in 2005, winning the gold medal in the snatch and silver in total.

The active lifter even sung a song to express his happiness in the press conference.

"I love weightlifting and I like singing too," said Cha.

The 27-year-old Wu, silver medalist in the Athens Games, suffered a back injury and gave up the last attempt in the jerk, finishing with a total result of 265kg.

Source: Xinhua

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