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Sa Jaehyouk lifts South Korea's first gold in weightlifting
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22:13, August 13, 2008

South Korean weightlifter Sa Jaehyouk emerged from nowhere to claim the men's 77kg title with a total of 366kg on Wednesday, beating Chinese veteran Li Hongli with bodyweight advantage.

It's South Korea's first gold in weightlifting at the Beijing Olympics. Chinese weightlifters have won six golds out of the total seven events they took part in until now.

Sa, 23, snatched 163kg while Li, 27, hoisted 168kg in snatch session.

The rookie demonstrated a strong power in clean and jerk. After Li finished his third attempt and jerked 198kg, Sa was still waiting for a heavier weight.

Sa Jaehyouk of Republic of Korea takes a lift during the men's 77kg final of weightlifting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 13, 2008. Sa claimed the title in this event with a total of 366 kilos.

He succeeded in first attempt of 201kg, securing the silver, and then jerked 203kg, grabbing the gold.

He challenged the world jerk record by tried to jerk 211kg in his third attempt, but failed.

Sa was a junior world champion of 69kg category in 2005 and only ranked fifth in 2007 world championships.

The bronze went to Gevorg Davtyan, 2007 world championships silver medalist, who totaled 360kg.

As predicted, the event was a scuffle among batches of top lifters, including the three medalists and Russian Oleg Perepechenov, bronze medalist in Athens, but none of them has an absolute advantage.

Turkish lifter Taner Sagir, defending champion and 2006 world champion, dropped off the competition after failed three attempts for 165kg in snatch, just like his compatriot Nurcan Taylan, another Athens Olympic gold medalist did in the women's 48kg class.


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