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Records broken as weightlifting champs end

November 16, 2014

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Tatyana Kashirina smashed three world records and North Korea celebrated unprecedented success as the world weightlifting championships ended Sunday.

Kashirina secured her third world title Sunday, adding a full 14 kilograms to her own overall world record in the women’s over-75kg category, setting a new benchmark of 348kg.

Kashirina’s lift of 155kg in the snatch and 193kg in the clean and jerk were also records that she also secured on the last day of the championships.

The big surprise of the nine-day competition in Almaty, Kazakhstan, however, was the North Korean team, which topped the medal table with 12 golds when the so-called “small” medals from winning the snatch and clean and jerk events are factored in.

In the conventional “big” medal table, including only overall wins in each weight category, China led, but North Korea was a strong second with four gold medals, still its best-ever performance at a world championships.

North Korea’s political isolation is mirrored in weightlifting, where little is known of how its athletes train, but it has surprised many by becoming a major player in recent years, including winning three gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012.

North Korea’s weightlifting program has faced accusations of doping but has only one athlete currently suspended for taking a banned substance, compared to 13 for Kazakhstan and 18 for Azerbaijan, according to the International Weightlifting Federation’s records.

Host nation Kazakhstan was another strong performer at the championships, winning overall gold in three events for third in the “big” medal table.

Two of those Kazakh winners also set world records, with Zulfiya Chinshanlo setting a new marker of 134kg in the clean and jerk on the way to winning the women’s 53kg category, before Ilya Ilyin lifted a record 242kg in the clean and jerk in the men’s 105kg category.

The only other records at the November 8-16 championships were set by China’s Liao Hui, whose overall total of 359kg in the men’s 69kg event broke his own record by 1kg.

Liao’s 166kg lift in the snatch edged one of weightlifting’s oldest records, a 165kg lift by Bulgaria’s Georgi Markov at the 2000 Olympics.

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