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China’s Deng Wei lifts gold with a world record as main rival is withdrawn for doping

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 6:48am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 3:37pm

Chinese weightlifter Deng Wei lifted Olympic gold with a world record in the women’s 63kg category on Tuesday, after favourite Lin Tzu-chi from Taiwan was banned after reportedly failing a doping test.

Deng lifted 147kg in the clean-and-jerk and 115kg in the snatch for a combined 262kg which broke the record held by Lin.

North Korea’s Choe Hyo-sim (248kg) took silver while Kazakhstan’s Karina Goricheva (243kg) won bronze.

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“I am very excited and very thrilled to win this medal,” 23-year-old Deng said.

“At first, I was very nervous, because it was my first Olympic Games, but afterwards I won, so I am just super excited. I am very satisfied with my performance. I have been targeting a gold medal for a long time, so I am very happy with this.”

It was China’s second weightlifting world record in Rio after Long Qingquan broke the 56kg men’s mark with a combined 307kg.

Taiwan’s Lin was widely regarded the favourite ahead of the Olympics after her world-record combined lift of 261kg at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

The Taiwan delegation said its decision to withdraw Lin from the competition was made according to guidelines of the World Anti-Doping Agency and was consistent with “the spirit of fair play”, according to a report in the China Post which added that Lin’s doping test showed an “abnormal reaction”.

Lin, who is said to bear a close resemblance to Hong Kong pop singer Eason Chan, was banned from competing after she had arrived in Rio.

Lin also missed out on the 2012 London Olympics after she had failed a doping test in 2010 and was slapped with a two-year ban.

Meanwhile, Chen Ruolin, 23, and Liu Huxia, 18, won another gold for China in the women’s synchronised 10 metre platform diving competition.

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The petite Chinese pair scored 354 points after five dives. Malaysia won silver with a score of 344.34 and Canada took the bronze with 336.18.

“These four years have not been easy. I have had too many injuries I have felt that I could not carry on any more,” Chen said. “It may be my last Olympics, and I wanted it to end in a perfect note.”

Liu became emotional after hearing Chen’s remarks and broke down in tears in Chen’s arms.

It was Chen’s fifth Olympic gold medal, bringing her level with fellow Chinese diver Wu Mingxia who collected her fifth diving gold earlier this week.