China one-two helps restore pride

LONDON (Reuters) - China's Lu Xiaojun broke two weightlifting world records on his way to winning gold and team mate Lu Haojie went through the pain barrier to take silver as their men's squad bounced back from a poor start to the Olympics.

For the second consecutive day a Chinese lifter won gold by a comfortable margin, restoring the swagger to a team that surprisingly lost out on titles to North Koreans in the first two weightlifting events of the London Games.

"China were defeated this week but now this team has our revenge. We wanted gold and silver and we got them," said Lu Haojie who took second place in the 77 kg category.

On Tuesday fellow countryman Lin Qingfeng cruised to victory in the 69 kg division.

To win gold Lu Xiaojun beat his own world record total, set at the world championships three years ago, by 1 kg with an overall weight of 379 kg across the two styles of Olympic lift. The total included a world record snatch lift of 175 kg.

Lu Haojie took the silver medal with a total of 360 kg despite injuring his left forearm.

The injury meant he had to lower his target for the clean and jerk and, after a successful first lift that was good enough for second place, he was unable to continue and go head-to-head with Lu Xiaojun for the gold.

Cuba's Ivan Cambar Rodriguez took the bronze after facing a nervous wait as two lifters tried, and failed, to snatch the medal from him after he had completed his final lift.


After sealing victory an elated Lu Xiaojun abandoned protocol by dragging his coach up on to the platform, with an ecstatic hug that left the trainer covered in white handprints from the chalk that lifters use to improve their grip.

Xiaojun's total could have been even higher had it not been for a tactical hiccup that meant he was unable to make it to the platform in time to try for a 177 kg snatch.

After compatriot Lu Haojie pulled out of his final snatch attempt, the clock, which strictly controls the time athletes have to complete their lifts, was reset to one minute in accordance with the rules and left Lu Xiaojun short of time.

"I think it was a question of a misunderstanding, because of poor communication we didn't know it was such a short time," Lu Xiaojun said.

However, there appeared to be no hard feelings over the mix up. Both athletes embraced at the top of the medal podium and described each others achievements warmly.

"It was perfect, perfect... he not only got the gold medal here, he broke the world record," Lu Haojie said of his team mate's performance.

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