The 76 kg category at the Asian Championships showed the highly anticipated dual between the Zhang Wangli and Rim Jong Sim.
Zhang Wangli walked in as the favourite, holding the world records in the clean & jerk and total in both the 71 kg AND the 76 kg category. As a 76 kg lifter Zhang Wangli had snatched 118 kg, clean & jerked a world record 156 kg, and totaled a world record 274 kg at the silver tier IWF World Cup.
At the 2018 World Championships Rim Jong Sim snatched 119 kg and clean and jerked 150 kg for a 269 kg total, 5 kg less than Zhang’s World Cup performance.
This morning in Ningbo, China, the two 76 kg legends went head to head. Zhang Wangli snatched 118 kg on her 3rd attempt. The underdog Rim Jong Sim beat her by a kilo on her second attempt with 119 kg before jumping to and setting a new world record at 123 kg! Rim took a 5 kilo lead with her into the clean and jerk. Zhang, the world record holder in the clean & jerk, would need to outlift her by 6 kg.
After Zhang opened up with a comfortable 148 kg lift, Rim took three attempts in quick succession with 148, 152, and 155 kg, just 1 kg under the world record. That put her at a 278 kg world record total, 4 kg over Zhang’s best.
So, with one attempt remaining Zhang went for what was needed for the gold: a 161 kg clean and jerk. This would beat her own world record by another 5 kg. Bravely, Zhang Wangli approached the bar and with immense precision, speed, and strength she cleaned it. It seemed impossible that she would be able to make the jerk, but after catching the bar overhead with locked out arms it seemed she might have done it! After a moment of struggle the bar came crashing down.
Rim Jong Sim was champion