Asian Games: Triple-record burst for North Korean lifter
North Korea's Kim Un-Guk thanked his supreme leader Kim Jong-Un as he broke three world records on his way to gold in the 62kg class weightlifting at the Asian Games Sunday.
Kim shattered a 12-year-old record by lifting 154kg in the snatch, and followed it with a clean and jerk of 174kg to set a new combined record of 328kg.
Then with his final attempt he successfully lifted 178kg to raise the combined mark to 332kg, 5kg above the record he set in winning Olympic gold in 2012.
The flamboyant pocket-rocket, who stands just 1.59m (5ft 3 1/2in) tall, gave a double fist-pump salute and broke into a huge smile after his final lift, leaping around the stage in ebullient fashion to a huge ovation from the mainly South Korean crowd.
He draped himself in a North Korean flag for the victory ceremony, saluting the North Korea delegation and singing the anthem of the communist country, choking back tears as he did.
"Everybody aspires to a world record," Kim told AFP with his new gold medal gleaming around his neck.
"But it is all thanks to love and care by General Kim Jong-Un (North Korea's leader). Only athletes like me can bear the national flag in their bosom."
Some of the South Korean fans cheering him on could even be seen shedding a tear as the emotion of the occasion got to them.
Kim recognised their support and bowed to them after, again raising an enormous roar from the stands.
The measure of Kim's achievement is that he did not just win, he destroyed a world-class field, finishing 11kg ahead of the silver medallist Chen Lijun of China and a remarkable 24kg better than the bronze winner, Eko Yuli Irawan of Indonesia.
In addition to setting three world records, Kim improved Games records five times, first in the snatch at 152kg and 154kg, and then his three clean and jerk lifts gave him successive Asiad combined records of 324kg, 328kg and 332kg.
Kim had begun the night by breaking the 12-year-old snatch world record of 153kg set by China's Shi Zhiyong way back in 2002.
Kim already held the combined world record of 327kg set in winning gold at the London Olympics and he was soon to better that twice on his amazing gold adrenalin rush in the clean and jerk.
Pumping the air wildly in delight after his first record, he gave a military salute to the North Korean delegation in the stands before disappearing back into the warm-up area with his coach.