RIO DE JANEIRO -- Hsu Shu-Ching of Taiwan won her first Olympic gold medal Sunday when Li Yajun of China failed to complete the clean and jerk in the women's weightlifting 53-kilogram category at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
Li set an Olympic record in the first round snatch by lifting 101 kilograms to take the lead into the clean and jerk. She was the last lifter to compete in the second round, and needed to lift 126 kilos to win gold. Her high entry total on the start list made her a favorite for the gold, but she failed to medal.
When Li didn't complete her score, the gold went to Hsu, who lifted 100 kilos in snatch and 112 in clean and jerk for an overall score of 212 kilos. Hsu is the reigning world champion and won silver four years ago at the London Games. But London gold medalist Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan failed a doping retest and could have that medal revoked, which would make Hsu a double gold medalist.
"I am very happy and very excited," she said.
Team doctor Lin Yin-Chou said Hsu was battling a strain in her thigh, and it was the "intelligence of our coaches" that pushed her to gold.
"We have been wanting this gold medal for some time and it is especially pleasing because she has had an injury that she has been carrying," Lin said.
A tearful Hidilyn Diaz of Philippines won silver after failing to medal in the last two Olympics. She lifted in the 58kg class in the 2008 Beijing Games as a 17-year-old and impressed many in the field, but she failed on all her clean and jerk attempts in London. Diaz dropped down to the lighter class for Rio, which had just seven competitors.
"I have tried so hard. I have stumbled many times," Diaz said. "I wanted to quit, but now all of my sacrifices have paid off."
Jin Hee Yoon of South Korea won bronze. She had won silver at the 2008 Beijing Games.
"I am very excited. I did not expect a medal at all but I am so happy I got one," she said. "I did think (maybe) I would be contending for third or fourth. I tried the best I could. I do not even realize what has happened, but I am very excited."