Yun Chol Om of North Korea wins gold in the men’s 56kg weightlifting category with an overall total of 293kg (646 pounds!!!!). Om, who is just 4ft 11ins (152cm), set a new Olympic record in the clean and jerk – lifting 168kg – three times his own body weight.
Om, who stands just 5-feet tall and weighs only 123 pounds, won a gold medal in the men’s 56-kilogram category thanks in large part to clearing an Olympic record 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.
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 had to wait until the “A” group competed later in the day to find out if his performance was enough to earn him a gold medal.
Om’s total in the snatch and the clean and jerk was 293 kilograms (646 pounds), four more kilograms than second-place Wu Jingbiao of China managed. Wu, a two-time world champion, was the heavy favorite entering the day.