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N. Korea’s Ri sets women’s weightlifting world record in Hangzhou

Ri Song-gum lifted a combined 216kg to win the women’s 49kg class. (AFP pic)

HANGZHOU: North Korea’s Ri Song-gum set a new world record today to win gold in the first weightlifting event of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, the women’s 49kg class.

She lifted a combined 216kg (92kg snatch, 124kg clean and jerk), one kilogram greater than the previous mark held by China’s world champion Jiang Huihua, who had to settle for silver with a total of 213kg.

Thailand’s Thanyathon Sukcharoen took a surprise bronze on 199kg as Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu of India could only come fourth.

Chanu failed with her last two clean and jerk attempts at the 117kg she needed to get onto the podium.

It was the 25-year-old Ri’s second consecutive Asian Games gold, having won the now-defunct 48kg in Jakarta five years ago.

Later today women will lift in the 55kg division, which is also expected to be a China versus North Korea showdown for medals.

The men will be under the weightlifting spotlight tomorrow for the first time, with China expected to dominate.

World record holder Li Fabin is a hot favourite to take gold in the 61kg division, with fellow Chinese world record holder Chen Lijun in the 67kg category.