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North Korea’s Om Yun Chol lifts 3 times body weight

By Delords - Sunday, July 29, 2012

Whether it's high jumpers leaping nearly two feet more than their own height or sprinters running 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, there are some Olympic feats so remarkable they seem to defy basic common sense.
North Korea's Om Yun Chol pulled off another of those Sunday.
Om, who stands just 5 feet tall and weighs only 123 pounds, set an Olympic record in the men's 56-kilogram category when he cleared 168 kilograms (370.4 pounds) in the clean and jerk. In the process, he joined the likes of world record holder Halil Mutlu and Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey in an exclusive group of weightlifters who have lifted three times their body weight in the clean and jerk.
Asked how a man so small could lift a weight so big, Om credited the "Great Leader" as North Korean athletes often do after great achievements.
"How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me," Om told the Olympic News Service.
What's most amazing about Om's accomplishment is he had never lifted more than 156 kilograms (343.9 pounds) in a competition before. As a result, the 20-year-old was part of the "B" group with lower-ranked lifters on Sunday and will have to wait until the "A" group competes later in the day to find out if his performance is enough to earn him a gold medal.
Om's total in the snatch and the clean and jerk was 293 kilograms (646 pounds), an effort that definitely should have him in medal contention. It's 16 kilograms more than any lifter in the "B" or "C" group managed but still 12 kilograms shy of the world record Mutlu set in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
One aspect of Om's performance Sunday that was also surprising was the amount of personality he showed in setting the record.
A smiling Om riled up the crowd when it was announced he'd take aim at the Olympic record after clearing 160 and 165 kilograms on his first two attempts. He then confidently secured the bar at his shoulders and briefly lifted it above his head, a mighty effort from a mite of a man who etched his name in Olympic annals for years to come.

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