Long claims men’s 56kg weightlifting glory while Hsu wins women’s 53kg gold
World and Olympic records fell on a dramatic night in the Rio 2016 weightlifting competition.
The men's 56kg category promised an uncompromising battle between Beijing 2008 Olympic Games gold medallist Long Qingquan and London 2012 Olympic and three-time world champion Om Yun Chol – and it delivered as Long claimed victory.
Long drew first blood during the snatch by eclipsing Om's then-competition leading 134kg effort with a hoist of 137kg with his final lift.
It equalled Halil Mutlu's Olympic record set 16 years ago at Sydney 2000. That left it to Om to attempt to break his own clean and jerk Olympic record of 168kg with a lift of 169kg, which he did.
Long was undaunted and loaded the bar with 170kg for the final lift of the night to break Om's two-minute-old Olympic record and clinch his second gold medal in the event.
Om finished with a 303kg total while Thailand’s Sinphet Kruaithong had the tournament of his life, taking the bronze medal with a total of 289kg.
"I am really happy and proud,” said Long after his dramatic triumph. “I came to this competition with two dreams: to win the competition and break the world record, and I did (both).
"From 2012 to 2016, it was quite tough for me because I did not make it to the Olympic Games in 2012, but I did not give up.
"From 2013 to 2016 I did not make it to the world championships at all. I was not able to stand on the podium, but today I made it. Thank you, very much."
In the women’s 53kg event Hsu Shu-Ching of Chinese Taipei took the gold medal after China's Li Yajun’s audacious all-or-nothing attempts during the clean and jerk ended in disaster.
Olympic debutant Li set an Olympic record 101kg in the snatch – upping it from the previous 100kg – but was unable to land any of her three clean and jerk attempts at 123kg, 126kg and 126kg to overcome her more experienced rival who, with the gold medal hers, declined her final lift.
Hsu's total of 212kg was 12kg clear of eventual silver medallist Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines and 13kg ahead of bronze medallist Yoon Jin Hee of the Republic of Korea.
Hsu is the first weightlifter from Chinese Taipei to win Olympic gold, and afterwards team medic Lin Yin-Chou revealed the athlete had carried a minor injury into the contest.
"It is a muscle strain in her thigh that she obtained in training," Lin said. "That is the intelligence of our coaches that she was able to win this medal and overcome injury (to do so)."