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Yang reaps rewards in Qiu's absence

[WEIGHTLIFTING] World No 1 Yang Fan of China caused a sensation on his World Championship debut by sweeping the gold medals in the men's 62-kilogram competition yesterday at the Chiang Mai 700th Anniversary Stadium.

Published on September 20, 2007



Yang, who was making his first appearance in an overseas event, lifted 315kg - the same as North Korean Im Yong-su - in the Olympic total, but his lower weight of 61.65kg against the 61.79kg of his rival put him atop the podium.

The Chinese teenager, who turns 20 next month, also ran away with the gold in the snatch and clean and jerk, though the North Korean matched him by lifting an identical 142kg and 173kg, respectively.

The contest would have been much tougher had Yang's compatriot and arch-rival Qiu Le been in the contest throughout. The two-time overall reigning champion injured his right elbow during his third attempt in the snatch, forcing him to retire from the competition. He suffered torn ligaments and needs to keep his cast on for three weeks. "It would have been more difficult if he had been in the competition, as we have always been equal,'' said Yang, who finished second behind Qiu in the Asian Championships earlier this year in Taian, China.

Despite the three gold medals, Yang was far from happy.

"I am not excited because I didn't perform to my best today. My goal was to carry 320kg in total,'' said the rising star.

Bulgaria's Ivaylo Filev had to be content with three bronze medals. He snatched 138kg and lifted 163kg in the clean and jerk for a combined 301kg.

In the men's 69kg, China's Zhang Guozheng won the clean and jerk and Olympic total. He snatched 155kg to take the silver, before lifting a massive 192kg in the clean and jerk for 347kg in total to grab two golds.

Compatriot Shi Zhingyong of China won his third consecutive snatch gold medal with a lift of 158kg. His lift of 180kg in the clean and jerk fetched him a silver in total. Turk Mete Binay lifted 154kg for the snatch bronze, while Bulgaria's Demir Demirev's overall score of 334kg also got him a bronze.

Frenchman Vencelas Dabaya, who won the clean and jerk and total last year, had to settle for a silver in the clean and jerk with a lift of 187kg. The bronze went to North Korea's Kim Chol-jin.

After three days, China are leading the table with 10 of the 12 gold medals up for grabs so far.

Lerpong Amsa-ngiam

 The Nation

CHIANG MAI


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