SPORTS

China's Lin Qingfeng favoured in men's 69 kilograms, Tsarukaeva and Maneza to face off at 63 kg

07/30/2012 11:34 EDT | Updated 09/29/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - Just three years ago, China's Lin Qingfeng was a junior world champion.

Lin will attempt to add an Olympic gold medal to his resume on Tuesday during the men's 69 kilogram finals at the ExCel Centre.

Lin is the favourite to win the event based on the 345-kilogram score he registered at the Chinese national championships three months ago. Lin also won the Asian crown at 328 last year, but that likely won't be enough to hold off a host of medal contenders that includes Turkey's Mete Binay and Arakel Mirzoyan of Armenia.

Binay will likely race out to a healthy lead in the snatch, his specialty. But Binay usually isn't as strong in the clean and jerk, which could lead to an exciting finale in which the competition races to try to beat Binay's total.

The women's competition continues Tuesday at 63 kilograms, where the Russian Svetlana Tsarukaeva and Kazakhstan's Maiya Maneza look likely to break away from the field.

Maneza won the world title in 2009 and 2010, with Tsarukaeva finishing second both times. But Tsarukaeva finally trumped her rival in 2011 with a 255-kilogram total that included a world-record in the snatch of 117 kilograms.

Both failed to register scores in the Beijing Games. Tsarukaeva didn't clear any snatch attempts and Maneza failed to show up at all after it's thought she injured herself in warmups.

Though weightlifters from North America rarely make noise on the international level, Canada's Christine Girard could change that Tuesday. She finished fourth in Beijing and is thought to be in good form.

Tuesday's lifters will have a tough time matching Monday's performance from North Korea's Kim Un Guk. He set a new world record with a 327 total.

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