LONDON — North Korea’s Om Yun Chol joined an exclusive group of weightlifters Sunday who have lifted three times their body weight in the clean and jerk — and in the process won the gold in the first upset of the weightlifting competition at the London Olympics. According to Om, it was all thanks to the “Great Leader.”
The 20-year-old Om, who stands just 1.52 meters tall, also set an Olympic record when he cleared 168 kilograms in the clean and jerk in the men’s 56-kilogram category — and immediately gave all the credit to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
“How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me,” Om was quoted as saying by the Olympic News Service.
Om’s achievement was even more impressive considering he was competing in the “B’’ group with lower-ranked lifters. Medal contenders generally compete in the “A’’ group which took place later in the day.
Double world champion and pre-competition favorite Wu Jiangbiao of China had to settle for the silver medal while European Champion Valentin Hristov of Azerbaijan got the bronze.