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Lu double gives China 'revenge' in only weightlifting category it lost in 2008

08/01/2012 06:27 EDT | Updated 10/01/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - The only weightlifting gold medal that China failed to win in the Beijing Olympics was in the men's 77-kilogram category, so they sent two men named Lu to London to make sure that didn't happen again.

One would have been enough.

Lu Xiaojun smashed two world records Wednesday in the most emphatic victory yet in the weightlifting competition.

Lu Haojie may have been a distant second, but he was still 11 kilograms ahead of bronze medallist Ivan Cambar Rodriguez of Cuba.

"As long as the gold is to China, it's OK," Lu Haojie said.

The man who denied China its ninth gold medal in nine attempts in Beijing — Sa Jae-hyouk of South Korea — was injured in the snatch as his right arm buckled at the elbow. He abandoned the competition and was taken to a hospital for a checkup.

Meanwhile, the Chinese duel for gold turned into a one-man show as Lu Xiaojun lifted 175 kilogram in the snatch, bettering his own world record by 1 kilo. The 28-year-old then took 204 kilograms in the second half of the competition, the clean and jerk, to finish with a total of 379 kilograms, also a world top mark.

Afterward, Lu Xiaojun talked more about his seven years younger countryman than himself.

"He's been doing so much progress it's incredible," he said, noting that Lu Haojie beat him at the Chinese national championships this year.

The younger Lu confirmed that the reason China entered two competitors in the 77-kilogram class was to get the gold medal back from Sa. China was allowed to enter the maximum of 10 lifters in 15 weight categories.

"China dispatched Lu Xiaojun and myself because in 2008 Beijing Olympics we lost the gold to a South Korean athlete," he said. "So this time is our revenge. We wanted the gold and silver medals in the 2012 London Olympics."

It was the fourth weightlifting gold in London for China. North Korea has three after Rim Jong Sim clinched the gold in the women's 69-kilogram class earlier Wednesday.

The 19-year-old finished with a total weight of 261 kilograms, a stunning 36-kilo improvement on the 225 kilograms she lifted when winning bronze at the junior world championships last year and 29 kilos more than her 232-kilo total at the Asian Games in 2010.

Roxana Cocos of Romania got the silver medal while Maryna Shkermankova of Belarus beat countrywoman Dzina Sazanavets to grab the bronze.

Like North Korea's two previous gold medal-winning weightlifters in London, Rim gave North Korean leader Kim Jong Un credit for her success.

"I thought that it was my duty as an athlete of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to give joy to our supreme leader, General Kim Jong Un," Rim said. "The only thing that I can think of right now is to run to our dear leader with my gold medal in hand."

Even when reporters asked where the North Koreans had their training camp, Rim found a way to make Kim Jong Un the answer, saying the team practiced in "the embrace of our dear leader."

"That's where we could blossom," she said. "With whatever talent we had, we could blossom in his embrace."

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