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Sport - Weightlifting Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Ding takes centrestage

VANCOUVER Nov. 22. China's Meiyuan Ding laid claim to the title of world's strongest woman in style on Friday. Ding broke one of her world records and tied another in the 75-kilograms plus class at the World weightlifting championships.

Saif Assad won the men's 105-kilogram division, giving Qatar its first ever championship medal.

Ding had a lift of 137.5 kilograms in the snatch to break her previous mark of 135 kilograms. Ding actually broke it twice, lifting 135.5 kilograms on her second attempt before lifting 137.5 on her final lift.

Ding, the 2000 Olympic gold medallist and '99 world champion, had a lift of 162.5 kilograms in the clean and jerk to finish with 300 kilograms overall, tying her own world record. Ding attempted 169 kilograms in her final clean-and-jerk attempt to break compatriot Dan Sun's mark of 168.5 kilograms, but failed.

Chinese lifters won five of the seven women's divisions at the championships.

Russian Albina Khomich, 27, the 2001 world champion, finished second with an overall weight of 290 kilograms. Ukrainian Olga Korobka, 18, was third with 277.5 kilograms.

"I can assure you the result (at the 2004 Olympics in Athens) will be better," said Khomich. "I expected to be 305 kilograms overall.

"If I can do that it will be fantastic to prove than women can lift that much."

In the snatch, Ding and Khomich didn't touch the bar before all other competitors had done their lifts. They started at 130 kilograms, which both made with ease, while the best anybody else could do was 125 kilograms by Korobka, who weighs in at 150 kilograms.

Two nations cheered when Assad won the men's 105-kilogram division. Assad represents Qatar, but was born in Bulgaria and still lives there. His Bulgarian name is Angel Popov.

"When a Bulgarian wins he is still a Bulgarian," said Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation president Anton Kodjabashev.

Assad, whos best world finish was 11th in 1999 in Athens, won by being the most consistent of the 10 lifters. He was second in snatch and fourth in clean and jerk for a total of 422.5 kilograms (929.5 pounds).

Assad won the 1999 Junior World Championship for Bulgaria and took bronze at the 2000 Olympic Games for Qatar, which paid US$1 million for eight Bulgarian weightlifters.

Vladimir Smorchkov, from Russia, the 2001 world champion, finished second overall. He won the snatch with 195 kilograms, which is close to the world mark of 198.5 kilograms.

Defending champion Denis Gotfrid of Germany was third in the snatch but had to withdraw after seriously injuring his elbow on his final attempt. He is stable in hospital.

Bulgarian Alan Tsagaev won the clean and jerk with 230 kilograms, but had failed to complete a snatch. Tsagaev was second overall last year, and won silver at the 2000 Olympics.

The results:

Women's plus 75 kg: Overall: 1. Meijuan Ding (Chn) 300 kg, 2. Albina Khomich (Rus) 290, 3. Olha Korobka (Ukr) 277.5; Snatch: 1. Meijuan Ding 137.5, 2. Altina Khomich 130, 3. Olha Korobka 125; Clean and Jerk: 1. Meijuan Ding 162.5, 2. Albina Khomich 160, 3. Mi-Ran Jan (Kor) 157.5.

Men's 105 kg: Overall: 1. Saif Assad (Qtr) 422.5 kg, 2. Vladimir Smorchkov (Rus) 417.5, 3. Bunyami Sudas (Tur) 415; Snatch: 1. Vladimir Smorchkov 195, 2. Saif Assad 195, 3. Denis Gotfryd (Ukr) 192.5; Clean and Jerk: 1. Alan Tsagaev (Bul) 235, 2. Bunyami Sudas 230, 3. Gleb Pisarevsky (Rus) 227.5. — AP

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