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Veteran lifters continue China's dominance in weightlifting

updated: 2008-08-12

BEIJING - China continued to dominate the weightlifting events at the Beijing Olympics after two veteran lifters added two golds to the China's medals table on Monday.

Chinese weightlifter Chen Yanqing retained her women's 58kg Olympic title with a total result of 244kg.

Chen, 29, has become the first strongwoman in the world to successfully defend her Olympic title since the women's weightlifting entered summer Olympics in Sydney eight years ago.

Marina Shainova from Russia took the silver medal with a total of 227kg, while O Jong Ae from the DPR Korea got the bronze with 226kg, beating Thai Wandee Kameaim who also cleared a total of 226kg to the fourth place due to less bodyweight.

No one was able to make any trouble for the defending champion and record holder, who made six successful attempts and raised the Olympic clean and jerk record to 138kg and total to 244kg.

Both the other two medalists agreed that Chen was too strong to defeat.

Later in the day, Chen's male counterpart Zhang Xiangxiang claimed title in men's 62kg class, making the day a pure celebration for the spectators of the host in the venue of the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics gym.

Zhang, 25, bonze medalist at Sydney Games, totaled 319kg, 14kg more than that of the silver medalist, Colombia's Diego Salazar. The bronze went to Indonesian lifter Triyatno with 298kg.

Two of his arch rivals, Ji Hun-min of South Korea and DPR Korean lifter Im Yong Su, 2002 world champion, failed in all three attempts in clean and jerk.

Zhang dominated the field as no other lifters were able to hoist the weight Zhang jerked in his first attempt.

The Chinese weightlifting team has triumphed an one-hundred percent victory rate till to now as all the four Chinese lifters, two male and two female, have claimed titles.

Chen Xiexia, 25, won the women's 48kg category on the first competition day, contributing the first gold for the Chinese delegation and teen prodigy Long Qingquan triumphed in men's 56kg Sunday.

China didn't enter lifters in the women's 53kg event on Sunday. The gold of this category was won by Thai lifter.

Zhang said they had won so many golds because so many athletes trained hard for many years.

"China has always been good at weightlifting," he said.

However, Chinese men's team coach Chen Wenbin said it's unpredictable of the other four male lifters performance in the upcoming events.

"The competitions will be quite tough for them," said the coach.