•The 20-year-old successfully lifted a 135kg
In a remarkable feat at the Asian Games in Hangzhu, a North Korean weightlifter, Kim Il Gyong, shattered the world record for the third consecutive women's event.
Kim Il Gyong, who had last competed internationally as a 14-year-old junior in 2018, achieved a new snatch record of 111kg, securing gold in the women's 59kg category.
The 20-year-old then successfully lifted 135kg in the clean and jerk, culminating in an impressive total of 246kg. This performance earned her the gold medal and relegated China's Luo Shifang to silver, with former snatch world record-holder Kuo Hsing-chun of Taiwan finishing in third place.
On a separate note, Ri Song Gum had previously broken two world records in the women's 49kg category, marking the start of the Hangzhou Games. Meanwhile, Hidilyn Diaz, the only Olympic gold medalist from the Philippines, is preparing for the Paris Games, where she will compete in a higher weight category since the 55kg division will not be featured in the 2024 Olympics. Diaz had secured gold at the Asian Games five years ago in Jakarta in the now-discontinued 53kg class, expressing confidence in her ability to claim gold in Paris by aiming for lifts of 107kg and 135kg.
It's worth noting that North Korean weightlifters had been absent from international competitions since 2019 due to border closures amid the pandemic. Their anticipated return in June at a meeting in Cuba faced strong objections from rival lifters, who cited concerns about the North Koreans not undergoing doping tests since 2019.