2024 AWC Day 1 and 2. North Korea dominates the light weights with world records. Getty Images

North Korea dominated the first two days of the Asian Weightlifting Championships 2024 in the light weight categories. In the absence of China, the North Korean athletes faced no stiff competition from their opponents, with their women's team also setting several world records.

Won Hyon Sim won the women's 45 kg weight category with a spectacular performance. She started after the snatch and continued with three successful attempts at 80, 84 and 86 kg. Her final snatch broke the world standard (85 kg). Sim won the clean and jerk with 100 kg, but continued with a successful attempt at 106 kg in her second attempt. 

She beat the world standard with 192 kg. The world standard in the clean and jerk (108 kg) remains unbeaten, but Sim will no doubt try to break it soon in the other competitions. Thailand's Siriwimon Pramongkhol won three silver medals, and Taipei's Hong Zi-Yu won three bronze medals in the same weight category. 

Day 1 continued with the triumph of Pang Un Chol in the men's 55 kg weight category. Thailand's Natthawat Chomchuen won the snatch competition with 119 kg, ahead of Chol and reigning world champion Lai Gia Thanh of Vietnam with three kg. Chol won the clean and jerk with 150 kg, two kilos ahead of Chomchuen. 

Lai Gia was far away from his best form. At the World Championships in 2023 he had a total of 269 kg (123+146), but in Tashkent he was third with a total of 250 kg (116+134). Thailand's Witoon Migmoon failed three attempts in the snatch but won bronze in the clean and jerk with 135 kg. 

Even more impressive was the performance of Ri Song Gum in the women's 49 kg Olympic weight category on the second day of the competition. She finished the snatch with 95 kg, just one kg behind the world record of China's Zhihui Hou. In the clean and jerk, she made 125 kg, beating her own world record.

Japan's Rira Suzuki was the second with a total of 191 kg (82+109) and Rosegie Ramos of the Philippines went back home with the bronze medal (88-102-190). Suzuki was only 5th in the snatch, but bounced back in the clean and jerk. Ramos took silver in the snatch and bronze in the clean and jerk, while Thailand's Khambao Surodchana was third in the snatch.

Pak Myong Jin was far superior to his opponents in the men's 61 kg weight category. He won the competition with a total of 306 kg. Ricko Saputra of Indonesia and Trinh Van Vinh of Vietnam fought hard for the silver medal, and Saputra finished second with a total of 291 kg (130+161), just one kg ahead of Van Vinh (129+161). Korea's Lee Hye-Song was second in the snatch.

At the end of the day it was Kang Hyong Gyong's turn to break the world record. She broke her previous record with an impressive attempt of 104 kg and won the gold medal in the snatch. Gyong finished the clean and jerk with 123 kg and came close to repeating her world record of 130 kg on her third attempt, but failed.

However, she won the competition with an impressive total of 227 kg. Guan-Ling Chen from Taipei finished second (89-115-204). Abdulaeva of Uzbekistan brought the first medal for the host country. She was the third with a total of 192 kg (86+106).