(BEIJING, August 9) --of China performed with the confidence of a champion throughout the Women's 48 kilogram competition on August 9, successfully completing all her attempts for a gold medal finish with 95kg in the Snatch and 117kg in the Clean and Jerk for a total of 212kg, a new Olympic Record.
Chen also set an Olympic record in the Clean and Jerk with 117kg.
China's Chen adds this Olympic gold medal to her collection of golds from the 2007 World Championships and 2007 Asian championships.
Turkey's Sibel Ozkan won the silver medal with 88kg in the Snatch and a successful 111kg in the Clean and Jerk for a 199kg total.
Chen Wei-Ling of Chinese Taipei is the bronze winner, with 84kg in the Snatch and 112kg in the Clean and Jerk for a 196kg total finish.
Defending gold medalist Nurcan Taylan of Turkey, the previous Olympic Record-holder who lifted a total 210kg in Athens, bombed-out in the Snatch and was subsequently knocked out of competition. She kissed the left side weight discs on her barbell before waving to the crowd on the way out.
Taylan wasn't the only competitor to bomb-out in the Snatch. Italy's Genny Caterina Pagliaro, the youngest competitor in this weight class at 19-years old, didn't finish, nor did Pramsiri Bunphithak of Thailand, the 2004 Athens silver medalist.
The Snatch bomb-out streak didn't last too long. The eventual fourth place finished, Republic of Korea's Im Jyounghwa, couldn't complete her final attempt of 88kg but finished the Snatch with 86kg. Thailand's Pensiri Laosirikul, who came in fifth, just barely avoided a Snatch bomb-out herself, finally lifting 85kg on her final attempt.
Turkey's Ozkan managed 86kg on her first Snatch attempt, and hit her 88kg lift on the third try. Chen Wei-Ling achieved her 84kg lift in the Snatch on her first attempt, but failed the next two times.
China's Chen made her first attempt in the Snatch of 90kg with barely a struggle, and followed it up with two more seemingly effortless lifts at 93kg and then 95kg, punctuating each success with a quick bow. Her performance ignited the crowd, and with each lift their cheers of "Let's go China!" grew louder. Finishing 7kg above Ozkan in the Snatch made Chen almost a lock for the gold, since she is the current World Record-holder for the Clean and Jerk.
As for some of the other competitors, Nicaragua's Carla Moreno finished 85kg in Clean and Jerk for a last place total of 150kg. Marilou Dozois-Prevost of Canada successfully lifted 90kg in the Clean and Jerk for a 166kg total. Misaki Oshiro of Japan and Marzena Karpinska of Poland both lifted 92kg in the Clean and Jerk, but Oshiro finished with a 172kg total while Karpinska's total was 171kg.
Melanie Noel of France lifted 97kg but failed twice to complete 100kg, finishing at a 177kg total.
Japan's Hiromi Miyake came out full speed with the first triple-digit successful lift of the competition, 105kg on her first Clean and Jerk attempt, although she stumbled a bit causing only two of the three judges to call it a successful attempt. She finished with 185kg for her total.
Thai lifter Laosirikul celebrated her first Clean and Jerk attempt, a successful 110kg,but ultimately missed the podium by one kilogram with a 195kg total.
ROK's Im was able to complete her 106kg Clean and Jerk first attempt in good form, and finished the Clean and Jerk with 110kg successfully lifted. Im's total of 196kg was even with bronze medalist Chen Wei-Ling of Chinese Taipei, but she fell short of the podium because Chen had a lower body weight at the pre-competition weigh-in.
Chinese Taipei's Chen easily hit 108kg in her first Clean and Jerk attempt, and 112kg on her second attempt. Junior World Champion Ozkan finished the Clean and Jerk with 111kg in her third attempt, less than Chen Wei-Ling, but with a total of 199kg Ozkan knew she was likely to reach the podium. She ran off to hug her coach, who also erupted in a display of excitement.
When Chen Wei-Ling collapsed at the last second in her final attempt of 115kg and ended with a 196kg total, Ozkan began to tear up backstage over the exciting realization that she would be the silver medalist.
The crowd was alive again for China's Chen Xiexia, who started her Clean and Jerk attempt at 113kg, one kilogram above the last successful attempt of her competitors. Her completion of this first attempt made it beyond a doubt that she would be the gold medalist. She followed with 115kg and 117kg in her next two attempts, and clinched the gold with a 212kg total.
While Chen Xiexia set a new Olympic Record, she did not break her own personal best of 214kg in the total, nor any World Records. She still holds the Clean and Jerk World Record of 120kg, and her compatriot Yang Lian has the World Record in the Snatch with 98kg and the total with 217kg.
China now holds 14 of 20 Olympic records in Women's Weightlifting.
Chen Xiexia's gold was the first medal of the 2008 Olympic Weightlifting competition. All Weightlifting events are held in the Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics Gymnasium.