Olympic champion Jang Mi-Ran of South Korea was crowned the strongest woman at the Asian Games after winning the +75kg weightlifting class on Friday.

The former four-time World champion and World record holder, a superstar in her home country, had notched up two silvers in previous Asiads but was not to be outdone this time around.

The 27-year-old overcame a mediocre snatch section to power through the clean and jerk for gold on lighter body weight after a great tussle with up-and-coming Chinese lifter Meng Suping, who won silver to her second place in September's World championships.

Olympic bronze medallist Mariya Grabovetskaya of Kazakhstan also won bronze here, but was a massive 21kg off Jang's 311kg aggregate.

“I felt in good condition, not 100 percent,” said Jang. “I had some problems in the snatch, but did well in the clean and jerk. “It's my third time at the Asian Games and the first time I got a gold medal, so I'm very happy.”

The competition quickly turned into a two-tiered one, with three lifters failing to go past 115kg in the snatch.

The tall Grabovetskaya entered at 125kg with success, but Jang's bent arm cost her a no-lift at 130kg, which Meng and the Kazakh nailed with apparent ease.

Jang, who also won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, made no mistake on her second attempt, but was straight back out on the stage at 134kg as Grabovetskaya upped her third effort to 135kg.

But the judges and crowd reacted in horror as Jang struggled with the bar up and then lurched to the front of the stage under the pressure. She then released the weight which bounced towards the middle judge's table, the safety rail just preventing it from rolling completely off.

“It wasn't intentional!” said Jang. “I apologise to the judges, the bar was just too heavy.”

Grabovetskaya, whose opening weight in the clean and jerk was 25kg less than Meng, and the Chinese lifter were both then successful at 135kg to set up a tight second section.

The Kazakh had limited technique in the clean and jerk, topping out the chasing pack at 155kg.

Jang entered at 175kg, and with much groaning managed the weight, something Meng did not.

The Chinese lifter did nail 176kg on her second attempt, and immediately named her third entry weight at 185kg, forcing Jang back out onto the mat in a bid to make up that 5kg she lost in the snatch.

Jang looked composed as she lifted 181kg to draw level with Meng at the Dongguan Gymnasium where the crowd was buoyed by a large number of South Korean fans.

But Meng failed with her third attempt at 182kg, and Jang stole gold on lighter body weight, just failing a world record attempt as she bowed out.

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