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Tashkent, Day 1: Double success for PRK – and it’s now nine world records in 127 days for their women’s team

DPR Korea won both the medal events on the opening day of the Asian Championships in Tashkent. Its women’s team continued a remarkable run of record-breaking victories when Won Hyon Sim claimed a sweep of golds at 45kg, then Pang Un Chol finished ahead of the Vietnamese world champion to win the men’s 55kg.

Both athletes had also won at the IWF Grand Prix in Qatar two months ago.

Won broke snatch and total world records on her way to victory. Since the first day of competition at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China 127 days ago, PRK athletes have now set nine women’s world records.

Won Hyon Sim (PRK) – Photo credit: Isaac Morillas/

Until this Championships nobody had met the world standards, set in 2018, of 85-108-191 at the minimum weight for women. Won beat those marks in snatch and total as she made 86-106-192. Had she not failed with her second clean and jerk on 106kg, Won might have claimed all three world records.

It was a dominant performance by Won, who improved her Qatar Grand Prix total by 11kg. While she made five good lifts, second-placed Siriwimon Pramongkhol from Thailand made only two as she finished 29kg behind on 72-91-163. Hong Zi-yu from Chinese Taipei was third on 72-90-162.

In the men’s 55kg, world champion Lai Gia Thanh withdrew with an injury after failing with three of five attempts. The Vietnamese lifter had either won or bombed out in his past 11 competitions but this time he broke the sequence by finishing third.

Pang Un Chol (PRK)

Lai missed his first two snatch attempts and had to be helped off the platform, clutching his right leg in pain, after he made the third. His 116-134-250 was a long way below his best.

Natthawat Chomchuen from Thailand had led at halfway but he failed with his final two attempts and finished on 119-145-264, also far lower than his career-high numbers. Pang made 116-150-266 for victory, 2kg lower than his winning total in Qatar.

The youngest competitor here in Tashkent made five good lifts in the women’s 49kg B group, which opened the Championships.

Ogulshat Amanova from Turkmenistan won the world youth title aged 13 last March and competed here aged 14 years 66 days. She has had minor injury problems and made 70-82-152, which was 4kg lower than her world title effort. Ogulshat’s big target this year is the IWF World Youth Championships in Peru in May.

Ogulshat Amanova (TKM) – Photo credit: Isaac Morillas/

Uzbekistan also has two 14-year-olds in its team. Munisa Odilova made 57-70-127 in the 45kg A Group and Shakhnoza Jabbarova lifts on Tuesday in the women’s 64kg A Group.

Yadav Gyaneshwari from India posted a career-best 79-99-178 to lead the B Group. Juliana Klarisa, who won South East Asia Games gold at 55kg less than nine months ago and has cut more than 10 per cent of her body weight to lift at 49kg, was second on 77-98-175. That puts her within 1kg of her team-mate Windy Aisah, who is 16th in the Paris 2024 rankings.

The 49kg A Group is on day two of this Paris 2024 qualifying event, which also features the men’s 61kg and the non-Olympic women’s 55kg.

By Brian Oliver