North Korea overtook China at the top of the medals table at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships and, after a sensational finish in the men's 94 kilogram category two-and-a-half hours later, they might well stay there.
That took North Korea to 10 golds, one more than China.
"China was the strongest nation in weightlifting before, but not now," said Ryo
"That's in the past."
Hao Liu then lifted like a man possessed in the second half of the men's event in an attempt to put China back on top by virtue of their superior record in silvers and bronzes.
It was great entertainment and the crowd, with two Kazakh athletes to cheer, loved it, making more noise than we have heard all week.
Liu was hopeless in the snatch.
He failed with two of his three lifts and was down in 15th place, 23kg behind the leader, after making only 165kg.
His first attempt in the clean-and-jerk was a whopping 50kg heavier at 215kg, and he made it.
Liu then failed with his second lift, on 221kg, but made it with his third attempt.
He had moved up nine places and although he had no chance in the overall contest he was suddenly in the gold medal position in the clean-and-jerk with three lifters to finish.
The first of them, Rinat Kireev from Russia, failed at 224kg.
So did the next man, Vadzim Straltsou from Belarus.
That left only the home hope Zhassulan Kydyrbayev, who went up eight kilograms to 229kg in one last attempt to overtake Liu and take the overall victory from his fellow countryman Vladimir Sedov, who had posted a seemingly unbeatable total of 407kg.
Kydyrbayev made it, the crowd went wild, and somewhere back in their team hotel the North Koreans will have been celebrating too.
They expect more gold in today's women's 75kg and are slight favourites to finish ahead of China in the final table on Sunday (November 16)
There are four more medal events to come.
Ryo always looked the likely winner of the women's contest, despite the distraction of the crowd booing her during her lift as she attempted to overtake Kazakhstan's Zhazira Zhapparkul for victory.
When asked about that afterwards, Ryo politely ignored the controversy and replied: "I have won my first World Championships title and I am very happy."
China's Youjuan Chen looked very disappointed after failing with three of her six lifts and finishing with a total of 261kg, four worse than Ryo and one behind Zhapparkul.
The Kazakh lifter was given great support but the jeering of Ryo was embarrassing.
Another Kazakh, the Olympic 63kg champion Maiya Maneza, was returning at a new weight after taking time off to get married and start a family.
In her first competition as a mother, she made a total of 231kg and will surely improve next year.
Those Kazakh fans did have gold medals to cheer in the men's 94kg.
Kydyrbayev and Vladimir Sedov provided the first one-two finish in the total at these Championships, for any nation.
Sedov won the snatch, with Kyrdyrbayev third.
In second place was the colourful Aurimas Didzbalis, from Lithuania.
The shaven-headed, muscle-bound Didzbalis, wearing a lime green uniform, performed a superb backward somersault after his third lift - quite an achievement for somebody who weighs more than 93kg.
He led until Sedov's last lift and was also in contention overall until Liu and the two Kazakhs took over.
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