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September 22, 2000
China win both lifting golds
China took both gold medals in Olympic weightlifting Friday and women's superheavyweight world champion Ding Meiyuan smashed three world records.
Zhan Xugang won an eventful men's 77 kg contest, equalling the world clean-and-jerk world record of 207.5 kg to squeeze out Greece's Viktor Mitrou on body weight.
Mitrou matched Zhan's overall total of 367.5 kg but had to settle for silver after tipping the scales at 76.48 kg to Zhan's 76.20 kg. When scores are tied the lighter athlete wins.
Arsen Melikyan took bronze to give Armenia the first weightlifting medal of their Olympic history.
They were the only three from the 10-man leading ''a'' group of lifters to finish the competition.
Bulgaria's Plamen Zhelyazkov was barred from competing after his team were booted out of the Games for a series of doping offences.
An Armenian withdrew with an injury on Friday morning and two Qatari team mates pulled out with upset stomachs.
That reduced the starters to six.
An Iranian lifter then failed to make a lift in the snatch and therefore failed to qualify.
Then an Albanian and a Ukranian retired injured to leave Zhan, Mitrou and Melikyan as the only medal contenders.
In the earlier women's over-75 kg event, Ding won a thunderous battle with Polish teenager Agata Wrobel to ensure all four members of the unstoppable Chinese women's team will leave Sydney with a gold medal.
European champion Wrobel made the first move, lifting 132.5 kg to break her own world record in the snatch.
But Ding hit back within minutes, taking the bar to 135 kg to lead at the halfway stage of the competition.
It was the same in the clean-and-jerk where Wrobel set a world record of 162.5 kg before Ding strode on stage and lifted 165 kg, barely flinching as she heaved the bar over her head.
That left Wrobel, the heavier of the two women, needing to lift a full 170 kg -- 9 kg above the pre-competition world record mark -- to take gold.
The 19-year-old from the Polish mountain town of Zywiec made the attempt but did not even get the bar to her knees.
Ding's total of 300 kg was an overall world record and made her the first woman to hit the 300 kg barrier in the combination of snatch and clean-and-jerk.
Wrobel took silver while American Cheryl Haworth, who at 139.38 kg became the heaviest woman to step onto the Olympic weightlifting platform, took bronze.
Haworth made all six of her lifts and looked as if she could have perhaps taken more weight. The 17-year-old art student from Georgia, snatched 125 kg and jerked 145 kg for a combined 270 kg.
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