China’s Yanmei Xiang cruised to a hat-trick of women's 69 kilogram gold medals at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships here today, reclaiming the three titles she won in 2013.
The reigning Asian Games champion, who weighed in at exactly 69kg, registered a winning lift of 120kg in the snatch before posting an unrivalled 143kg with her one and only good lift in the clean and jerk.
Kazakhstan’s Zhazira Zhapparkul, silver medallist in the clean and jerk with 140kg, finished as the overall runner-up on 256kg to replicate her performance from last year, while Russia’s Anastasiia Romanova took bronze after finishing third in both the snatch and clean and jerk with 116kg and 137kg respectively.
A body weight tiebreaker saw Romanova lose out on snatch silver to North Korea’s Un Hui Ryo, who came into the competition as the defending champion in all three events.
Xiang, who beat Ryo to the overall title at last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, now has six World Championship gold medals and nine in total in the women’s 69kg category.
Both tallies are bettered only by Russia’s Oxana Slivenko with eight gold medals and 13 in total.
Xiang's triple success also means that in each of the last six editions of the World Championships, all three women’s 69kg titles have been won by one weightlifter, stretching back to 2009.
Meanwhile, in the men’s 94kg category, the unfancied Belarusian Vadzim Straltsou emerged from the pack to claim the overall gold medal.
Despite finishing as low as sixth in the snatch with 175kg, Straltsou recovered to make a winning lift of 230kg in the clean and jerk and earn a total of 405kg that could not be matched by his rivals.
Kazakhstan’s Almas Uteshov came the closest with 402kg, followed by compatriot and defending overall champion Zhassulan Kydyrbayev with 399kg.
Russia’s Aleksei Kosov lifted 181kg in the snatch to claim gold, but could only manage 200kg in the clean and jerk to leave him seventh overall.
Lithuania’s Aurimas Didzbalis, the reigning European champion in the snatch, clean and jerk and overall, took silver with 180kg ahead of Kydyrbayev on 178kg.
Uteshov had to settle for the runners-up spot in the clean and jerk after losing out on a body weight tiebreaker to Straltsou, while Kydyrbayev came third with 221kg.
Straltsou’s medals were the first won to be won by a Belarusian in the men’s 94kg since Mikalai Patotski claimed silver in the snatch in 2005.
Today's earlier action saw Israel's Anatoliy Mushyk top the men's 94kg C class standings with 363kg, and Azerbaijan's Intigam Zairov head the B class with 380kg.
Following the A classes, Japan's Ryunosuke Mochida totalled 375kg in the men's 105kg C class to beat Georgia's Giorgi Chkheidze to the summit of the standings on a body weight tiebreaker.
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