Ri Song Gum (49KG) Sets Clean & Jerk and Total World Records at 2024 Asian Weightlifting Championships

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or PRK) produces some of the best weightlifters in the world. Case in point: One day after 45-kilogram Won Hyon Sim set her class’ first-ever world records at the 2024 Asian Weightlifting Championships (AWC), 49-kilo Ri Song Gum continued the trend by setting records of her own.

Gum set a clean & jerk world record of 125 kilograms, or 275.5 pounds, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where this year’s AWC runs from Feb. 3 to 10. She also logged a new best Total of 220 kilograms (485 pounds), another world record.

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Ri Song Gum | 2024 Asian Weightlifting Championships

The 49-kilogram category will be showcased in the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France later this summer. As such, it is among the most competitive classes in the sport. But here’s the kicker — Gum already owned two out of three world records in the division (the 96-kilogram snatch record remains in the hands of China thanks to 2020 Olympic Champion Hou Zhihui). 

Gum bested her own 1-rep-max clean & jerk by one kilogram and advanced her Total world record by a whopping four kilos. Here’s how she did in Tashkent:

Snatch: 90, 95x, 95 

Clean & Jerk: 117, 122, 125 World Record

Total: 220World Record

To the Top

The International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) top-10 ranking leaderboard is the primary metric that will determine which athletes are eligible to compete at this year’s Olympic Games. Prior to the 2024 AWC, Gum was already tied for first position with Chinese weightlifter Jiang Huihua, with both women having put up a best Total of 216 kilograms.

Gum’s 220-kilogram world record Total will confirm her place at the top of the women’s lightweight division. Team China, having withdrawn from the 2024 AWC, will not have an opportunity to respond until they compete at the IWF World Cup in April. However, the DPRK is not eligible to send any weightlifters to Paris 2024, since they failed to appear at a number of requisite qualifier events earlier in the Olympic cycle.

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The People’s Republic may boast the strongest 49-kilogram woman in the world (for the time being), but China is assuredly going to win gold at the Olympics this year. 

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Featured Image courtesy of Weightlifting House

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