(, August 9) -- The second day of the Olympic competition will generate two gold medals, one each from the Women's 53 kilogram and Men's 56 kilogram weight classes. Asian countries will be the dominant force again as the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Vietnam all compete for spots on the podium.
Since 2004 gold medalist Udomporn Polsak of Thailand is not on this year's squad, 24-year old Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon, runner-up in last year's Asian Championship, will try and defend her country's gold medal. Her entry total of 220kg is among the best of all the competitors.
Another lifter with an entry total of 220kg is Yoon Jin-Hee of the Republic of Korea. She finished third in the 53kg weight class at the 2007 World Championship when she lifted a total of 211kg.
Nastassia Novikava of Belarus may be the only lifter from outside Asia who may have a shot at the gold medal. She was the silver medalist at the 2007 World Championship, lifting 2kg more than Yoon in total weight. She also competed in the 2004 Athens Games, finishing fifth with a total of 190kg. This time she has an entry weight of 217kg.
Other medal candidates are Raema Lisa Rumbewas of Indonesia (215kg entry total) and Yudelquis Maridalin of Dominican Republic (212kg entry total).
With the absence of Turkish legend Halil Mutlu, this year Men's 56kg Weightlifting will see its first new champion in 12 years. The lifter with the best shot for the gold this year is 21-year old Cha Kum Chol of the DPRK. He is the reigning World Champion with a total weight of 283kg. His entry total weight is 290kg, one of the best in this weight class.
Cha's fiercest rival could be 19-year old Eko Yuli Irawan Indonesia. He is the bronze medalist from the 2007 World Championship and generally regarded as one of the most talented young weightlifters in the world. He also competed in the 62kg class in the 2008 Asian Championship and took the silver medal. His entry total weight is 295kg.
Another possible medalist will be 23-year old Hoang Anh Tuan of Vietnam who has a total entry weight of 292kg. He was the bronze winner in the 2006 World Championship and gold medalist in both the 2007 and 2008 Asian Championships. He is one of the most experienced in terms of major events participation, and has maintained a relatively steady record in recent years.
China is hoping to win its second Weightlifting medal after the first day's gold performance's in Women's 48kg, and China's medal hopes rest on the shoulders of 17-year old Long Qingquan. This will be his first major international event. Long began weightlifting training at the age of nine. He overpowered 2006 World Champion Li Zheng at China's 2008 national trials, which earned him an Olympic spot. His total entry weight is 290kg.
Other medal candidates include Sergio Alvarez of Cuba (285kg entry total) and Ri Kyong Sok of the DPRK (285kg entry total).
The Women's 53kg Weightlifting competition will begin at 3:30 p.m., while the Men's 56kg group A competition, which contains the top medal contenders with the highest entry weight totals, begins at 7:00 p.m. (all times UTC/GMT +8).