Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: July 29, 2012
Format: Total of best lifts in snatch and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.
As winner of the last two World Championships, and runner-up in the previous one, Wu Jingbiao of China was a clear favorite for the gold medal in the men’s bantamweight weightlifting event at the 2012 Summer Olympics. His closest competitor was thought to be Valentin Xristov of Azerbaijan, reigning European Champion and bronze medalist at the most recent World Championships. Before either weightlifter even had a chance to compete, however, they had already lost the gold medal. Wu and Xristov, competing in the “A” group, were unable to reach the bar set by Om Yun-Chol of North Korea in the “B” pool, which was usually reserved for participants outside of the top ten. Om, who had never medalled in a major international competition, became the fifth man ever to lift three times his own bodyweight with a lift of 168 kg in the clean and jerk, beating the Olympic record by 1 kilogram and tying the world one, both set by Halil Mutlu of Turkey. Although he would only have the joint sixth-highest lift in the snatch after all competitors had gone, his total lift was never surpassed.
Wu did not attempt to challenge Om on his first lift. Having won the snatch portion with a weight of 133 kg, he needed a lift of 160 kg, the same as Om’s first lift, to move into gold medal position. He called for 156 kg, enough to move into second place, but even in this he was unsuccessful until his second attempt. There was a potential for Khalil Maaoui of Tunisia to challenge for gold as well, as he had lifted only one kilogram less than Wu in the snatch, but he withdrew from the clean and jerk before his attempt. Xristov, who had been relegated to bronze following Wu’s lift, failed at 158 kg, and was surpassed by Vietnam’s Trần Lê Quốc Toàn, who lifted 159 kg in his second attempt. Xristov, with a 2 kilogram advantage in the snatch, responded with a 159 kg lift of his own that went unanswered by Trần, who failed at a final attempt at 162 kg. Wu failed in his attempt at 161 kg, which would have been sufficient for the gold, meaning that no one was able to top even Om’s first lift in the clean and jerk.
|1||Om Yun-Chol||20||North Korea||PRK||Gold||293|
|4||Trần Lê Quốc Toàn||23||Vietnam||VIE||284|
|10||Sin Chol-Bom||22||North Korea||PRK||258|