London: North Korea's Rim Jong-Sim relied on her superior clean and jerk to win the women's 69kg class, the reclusive nation's third gold of the Olympic weighlifting competition.

Rim, 19, recorded a combined total of 261kg after snatching 115kg and registering a best in the clean and jerk of 146kg on Wednesday.

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Romanian Roxana Cocos took silver with a total of 256kg (113, 143), with Belarus' Maryna Shkermankova claiming bronze with 256kg (113, 143).
It was North Korea's third gold after title-winning performances by Kim Un-Guk and Om Yun-Chol in the men's -62 and 56kg classes respectively, while Ryang Chun-Hwa nabbed a bronze in the women's 48kg category.

Rim, like Kim and Om, was quick to put her victory down to her communist homeland's late "Great Leader" Kim Jong-Il and his son and successor, "Great Comrade" Kim Jong-Un.

"Even though it was a very close competition, I gained strength to give joy to our supreme leader," said Rim, whose best in the total has improved by a masssive 30kg in just one year.

"I won't be greedy or proud. That way I will win more gold medals in the future."

In an exceptionally tight competition marred by the withdrawal through injury of Russia's world champion Oxana Slivenko, three lifters -- Dzina Sazanavets of Belarus, Kazakh Anna Nurmukhambetova and Rim -- all snatched 115kg.

Cocos and Shkermankova lifted 113kg, and Armenian Mmeline Daluzyan and Colombian Ubaldina Valoyes were a further 2kg adrift.

That set up a nail-biting clean and jerk session where gamesmanship came to the fore as lifters played around with their entry weights in a bid to up the ante on their rivals.

Nurmukhambetova, seventh in the 2011 worlds in Paris, took an early lead after clean and jerking 136kg, quickly overtaken by Sazanavets.

Cocos came in at 138kg in impressive style to leapfrog the Belarus and Kazakh lifters, followed rapidly by Shkermankova, whose 140kg gave her a 2kg overall lead.

Nurmukhambetova bombed out twice at 140kg to leave her off the podium and unable to carry on the Kazakh women's team's fine run that has seen them win two golds, in the -53 and 63kg categories.

The North Korean prowess on the clean and jerk was again evident when Rim entered with ease at 142kg.

She managed to get the barbell overhead at 146kg, but failed to find stability and the bar slipped away to leave her sprawling on her backside.

Cocos came back out for her third attempt, but just failed to nail what would have been a lift for gold medal position.

"As the saying in Romania says, you have to be happy with what you've got," said Cocos, who was eighth in Beijing and "very pleased" with her silver here.

The session belonged to Rim, who delighted the raucous 6,000-capacity crowd at the ExCel Arena when she somehow managed to nail her third attempt, also at 146kg.

With hearts in mouths, the North Korean seemed to freeze as the jerk went up. Silence descended for a couple of seconds before she slowly edged her feet level, to the roars from the spectators and her coaching team.

(Agencies)

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