North Korea claim more gold

LONDON Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:44pm EDT

North Korea's Un Guk Kim salutes celebrating his new world record in total of the men's 62Kg weightlifting competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

North Korea's Un Guk Kim salutes celebrating his new world record in total of the men's 62Kg weightlifting competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler

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LONDON (Reuters) - North Korea maintained their 100 percent men's weightlifting record at the London Games thanks to a sensational performance by Kim Un Guk who claimed a gold medal and a world record in the men's 62 kg class.

Despite a gold for Chinese women's lifter Li Xueying in the 58kg class the country's mixed run, in a sport they totally dominated in Beijing, was compounded by a disappointing fourth place for men's world champion Zhang Jie.

Zhang also lost his 2008 world record when Kim notched up a total of 327 kg across the two styles of Olympic lift, adding one kg to the world's best and matching the highest lift for the individual snatch style.

Kim, 23, took to the weightlifting platform with a small bow in front of the barbell, but left the stage leaping and punching the air to a standing ovation after comfortably seeing off a field packed with medal contenders.

"The whole country will be happy," he said.

Colombia's Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera took silver with a total of 317 kg, edging out Irawan Eko Yuli of Indonesia who managed the same total but was relegated to third because his bodyweight was higher.

Kim's display followed another gold medal and world-record breaking performance from compatriot Om Yun Chol in the 56 kg weight division on Sunday that leaves North Korea's male lifters with two golds from two - in classes China was expected to win.

STRONG START

China had made a good start to the day when Li Xueying set two Olympic records on her way to a comfortable victory in the women's 58 kg category.

Following the exit of Zhou Jun on Sunday, where the 17-year-old failed to complete a lift, Li said her victory reasserted the Chinese team's strength in the lighter weight division of the men and women's sport.

"It's true that yesterday our team mates didn't have their best performance. However I was not affected by their performances because I know we are a very strong team," Li said.

"Today it is my time to show our strength."

However, China's 10 lifters arrived in London defending eight Olympic titles won on home soil at the Beijing Games and after three days of competition, three of those have slipped away.

Zhang summed up the mood when leaving the arena after his failed final lift: "I am tired and I want to go home," he said.

(Editing by Alison Wildey)

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