The duel between China’s Long Qingquan and North Korea’s Om Yun Chol in the 56kg weightlifting competition was a highly entertaining one, and in the end it took the breaking of world and Olympic records to determine the gold medalist.
Long Qingquan’s combined total of 307 kilograms lifted in the snatch and clean and jerk disciplines was enough to win gold by just four kilograms over Om Yun Chol, and the mark establishes new Olympic and World records for the weight class. Halil Mutlu’s mark of 305 kilograms was established at the Summer Olympics in Sydney in 2000. Long’s best snatch lift of 137 kilograms was two kilograms off the world record mark, set by fellow Chinese weightlifter Wu Jingbiao last year.
That lift also tied Mutlu’s Olympic record in the snatch. This was a matchup of the last two gold medalists in this competition, with Long winning in 2008 on home soil and Om winning the gold medal in London.
Thailand’s Sinphet Kruaithong won the bronze medal with a total of 289 kilograms lifted, becoming the first Thai male to ever win an Olympic medal. Kruaithong is also the second weightlifter from Thailand to win an Olympic medal in Rio, as Sopita Tanasan won gold in the women’s 48kg competition Saturday.