Sports

North Korean lifts 3 times
body weight

Triple the weight: North Korea's Om Yun Chol during the men's 56-kg, group B, of weightlifting competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Sunday in London. Om joined an exclusive group of weightlifters who have lifted three times their body weight in the clean and jerk. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Triple the weight: North Korea's Om Yun Chol during the men's 56-kg, group B, of weightlifting competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Sunday in London. Om joined an exclusive group of weightlifters who have lifted three times their body weight in the clean and jerk. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

North Korea's Om Yun Chol on Sunday joined an exclusive group of weightlifters who have lifted three times their body weight in the clean and jerk.

According to Om, it was all thanks to the "Great Leader."

Om, who stands just 1.52 meters tall, also set an Olympic record when he cleared 168 kilograms in the clean and jerk in the men's 56-kilogram category — and immediately gave all the credit to former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

"How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong-il looked over me," Om was quoted as saying by the Olympic News Service.

Om's achievement was even more impressive considering he was competing in the "B'' group with lower-ranked lifters. Medal contenders generally compete in the "A'' group scheduled for later Sunday.

Om, who said he wanted to lift a big weight to make his opponents nervous, must now wait to see if any lifters in the "A'' can match his 293-kilogram total.

Only a handful of lifters have cleared three times their body weight before, including Halil Mutlu and Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey.

"I am very happy and give thanks to our Great Leader for giving me the strength to lift this weight," Om said. "I believe Kim Jong-il gave me the record and all my achievements. It is all because of him."

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