HANGZHOU: North Korea continued an eye-catching display in weightlifting at the Hangzhou Asian Games when Kim Il-gyong lifted 111kg, setting a new world record for the snatch in the women’s 59kg category on Day 8 of competition today.
Kim’s lift, achieved with the 20-year-old’s third snatch of the women’s final, thus eclipsed the previous record of 110kg set in 2021 by Taiwan’s star weightlifter, Kuo Hsing Chun, who was also competing today.
The snatch is one half of the final where athletes hoist the bar up in one movement.
In the other half, the clean and jerk, athletes first lift the bar up to sit on their shoulders and then attempt to hoist the bar up above their heads as they jump and land with one foot in front of the other.
The medal winners in this event are decided based on the aggregate of best lifts in snatch and clean and jerk.
Kim, who like several of her rivals sported knee supports in the Xiaoshan sports centre venue, had suggested she was serious about winning early on by opting to make her first lift on 103kg, at a weight so high only one of her rivals, China’s Luo Sifang, was still lifting.
World champion from earlier this year Luo, who was strongly supported by the several hundred-strong local crowd, matched Kim initially but then opted for 107kg with her third snatch and so leaving the stage set for Kim to make her world record.
Earlier this week, Kim’s teammates and fellow weightlifters Ri Song-gum and Kang Hyong-yong, also set women’s world records.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said last month they were happy for the North Korean flag to keep flying at the Hangzhou Asian Games despite it being banned over the country’s non-compliance with global anti-doping rules.
The World Anti-Doping Agency banned the flag at all major sporting events, outside the Olympic and Paralympic Games, in 2021 after deeming that North Korea had failed to implement an effective testing programme.