Olympics 2008 News
Lifter Chen gives China first gold at Beijing Games (Roundup)
Aug 9, 2008, 5:23 GMT
Beijing - Chen Xiexia lived up to her top billing on Saturday to give Olympic host China its first gold medal at the Beijing Games, in the women's 48 kilos weightlifting competition.
The 2007 world champion Chen won by a mile with 87kg in the snatch and 117kg in the clean and jerk for an Olympic record total of 212kg in front of 6,000 ecstatic fans in the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Gymnasium.
Sibel Ozkan got silver for Turkey with 199kg and the bronze went to Taiwan's Chen Wei-Ling with 196kg.
'I have been thinking of winning a medal but I never thought it would turn out to be the first gold medal for China. I am very happy and I did a good job,' said Chen.
Chen's gold will boost China, which is seeking a record medal haul at its home Games with a 600-plus strong team that might even beat the US for first place in the final standings.
Victory came after an early disappointment for China in the opening event of the Beijing Games, the women's air rifle shooting, where the 2004 gold medallist Du Li had to settle for fifth place.
While Chen delighted others met disaster.
The 2004 Olympic champion was Nurcan Taylan failed on all three snatch attempts on 84kg, and world championship runner-up Pramsiri Bunphithak of Thailand also faltered in the snatch.