Having seen Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo break her own clean and jerk world record by 1kg with her second attempt at 132kg, Hsu replied with the same weight on her next lift.

It smashed the combined world mark with a total of 233kg, 3kg more than China's Li Ping achieved at the Guangzhou Asiad four years ago.

Olympic champion Chinshanlo, however, retains the title of clean and jerk world record-holder by virtue of being first to achieve 132kg, albeit by a matter of two minutes.

The drama wasn't over as Chinshanlo, with one lift remaining, raised the weight to the improbable 137kg that would have given her the gold.

But she buckled under the huge load and had to settle for silver with a total of 228kg.

"I fought for this and I knew we were on the same level. But never in my dreams did I think I would have to break the world record to win gold," a delighted Hsu told AFP afterwards.

She added that it had all come as a shock and she had exceeded even her own expectations.

"I never lifted that much, not even in training," Hsu said. "My next goal is to win an Olympic gold. I am so happy."

Hsu's and Chinshanlo's efforts were not the only world records to be set in a dramatic evening at Incheon's Moonlight Festival arena.

China's 20-year-old Zhang Wanqiong set two new junior world records on her way to a bronze, her country's first medal of the weightlifting competition.

First she set a world junior record in the snatch with 102kg to lead after the first discipline. The previous mark stood at 100kg.

Then she lifted 126kg in the clean and jerk to break the combined junior world record of 227kg with a total of 228kg, the same as Olympic Champion Chinshanlo, but only good enough for bronze because she had the heavier bodyweight at the pre-event weigh-in.

Zhang was as surprised as anyone at what she had seen unfold at the end of the clean and jerk.

"I didn't expect Hsu to do this well," Zhang admitted. "I will just have to work harder from now."

Chinshanlo was clearly upset after losing an event for which she had been a hot favourite and left without talking to waiting reporters.

"She is an Olympic champion. Second place is OK. She will work harder for two more years for the Rio Olympics," said Chinshanlo's coach, Alexy Ni.

Latest News from Sports News Desk