Weightlifting - Long grabs gold for China

BEIJING Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:33pm IST

Long Qingquan of China poses with his gold medal in the men's 56kg weightlifting competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 10, 2008. REUTERS/Oleg Popov

Long Qingquan of China poses with his gold medal in the men's 56kg weightlifting competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 10, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Oleg Popov

BEIJING (Reuters) - Long Qingquan won a second weightlifting gold for China in the men's 56kg class on Sunday, extending the Olympic host's dominance of the sport after compatriot Chen Xiexia scored the previous day.

Cheered on by supporters waving red Chinese flags, Long, who is only 17 years old and has never competed internationally before, snatched 132kg and lifted 160kg in the clean and jerk. He won gold with a combined total of 292kg.

"To tell you the truth, I felt a little nervous, but if you don't think about it you don't feel nervous anymore," he said at a news conference. "If you know your opponents, you will win."

Vietnam's Hoang Anh Tuan won the silver, taking only the second medal in the history of the Olympics for his country. Eko Yuli Irawan from Indonesia won the bronze.

"I am very happy I lived up to the expectations of all of you," Hoang told Vietnamese journalists.

North Korea's Cha Kum-chol, who had been one of the very few Olympic medal hopefuls from the impoverished, reclusive communist state, failed to lift his targeted weight twice in the snatch and twice more in the clean and jerk. He came fifth.

China is expected to grab around one third of the 15 weightlifting gold medals on offer.

It did not compete in the women's 53kg class earlier on Sunday, where Thailand's Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon won the gold after a fast and tense competition between several close rivals.

On Saturday, the first day of full competition, weightlifter Chen Xiexia won China's first gold medal of the Olympics in the women's 48kg class amid huge cheers and thunderous applause.

(For more stories visit our multimedia website "Road to Beijing" here; and see our blog at blogs.reuters.com/china)

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