China’s Yue Kang claimed the women’s 75 kilogram snatch and overall titles here on the penultimate day of action at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships, but her success was somewhat overshadowed by the heroics of North Korea’s Jong Sim Rim, who defied injury to claim three silver medals.
Kang lifted 127kg to win snatch gold before adding 155kg for clean and jerk bronze and an overall unrivalled total of 282kg.
Nevertheless, it was women's 69kg London 2012 Olympic champion Rim who stole the limelight today as she somehow managed to secure silver medals in the snatch, clean and jerk and overall despite incurring significant injuries to her left hip and left knee.
Rim showed the first visible signs of her hip injury after failing with her third attempt in the snatch at 128kg and had to be helped off the stage.
Her previous lift of 125kg proved sufficient to finish runner-up ahead of Kazakhstan’s Svetlana Podobedova on 121kg, but there were major question marks over whether she would be able to compete in the clean and jerk.
Despite barely being able to walk, Rim somehow returned to the stage to lift 150kg and then 155kg, which ultimately earned her a silver medal ahead of Kang on a body weight tiebreaker.
And as if that wasn’t enough, she came back again to attempt 157kg which sadly was a step too far for last year’s clean and jerk world champion who was taken to hospital after being assisted through the medal ceremonies.
A successful lift would have meant clean and jerk and overall gold for Kim on a body weight tiebreaker with Kang failing to improve on her 155kg with two no lifts at 158kg.
But in reality, it was a mammoth achievement in itself that she even managed to complete the lifts.
Her total of 280kg saw her finish ahead of Russia’s Olga Zubova, the gold medallist in the clean and jerk with 156kg, who beat Podobedova on a body weight tiebreaker after both lifters amassed 276kg.
Russia’s Nadezda Evstyukhina, the defending world champion in both the women’s 75kg snatch and overall, finished fifth with a total of 261kg on a disappointing day for her.
Meanwhile in the men’s 105kg, consistency proved to be the key for Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Zaichikov as he won the overall title after finishing second in both the snatch and clean and jerk standings.
Lifts of 191kg and 230kg in the respective disciplines gave Zaichikov a winning total of 421kg, which Russia’s David Bedzhanyan, gold medallist in the clean and jerk with 231kg, came closest to matching on 411kg.
Latvia's Arturs Plesnieks came third overall but narrowly missed out on the clean and jerk bronze medal to Uzbekistan's Sardorbek Dusmurotov, who lifted 228kg in the B class earlier today.
Dusmurotov’s compatriot Ivan Efremov won gold in the men’s snatch with 192kg, while rounding off the podium behind Zaichikov was Armenia’s Simon Martirosyan with 186kg.
Today's other earlier action saw Armenia's Sona Poghosyan top the women's 75kg C class standings with 217kg, while South Korea's Yeounhee Kang headed the B class with 233kg.
Azerbaijan's Dadash Dadashbayli set the benchmark in the men's 105kg B class at 395kg, while after the A class sessions, Ecuador's Oliba Seledina Nieve Arroyo amassed 255kg for the lead.
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