Song Kuk Hyang (71KG) Sets 154KG Clean & Jerk World Record at 2024 Asian Weightlifting Championships

At this point, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) might need to just chuck out the record book altogether. The 2024 Asian Weightlifting Championships (AWC) run from Feb. 3 to 10 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. On Feb. 7, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (PRK) 71-kilogram athlete Song Kuk Hyang set a 154-kilogram (339.5-pound) clean & jerk world record.

Not only does this lift mark a new level of strength in one of weightlifting’s most competitive women’s divisions, it also further establishes the PRK weightlifting team as perhaps the best in the world. 

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Hyang and the rest of Team PRK seem determined to repaint weightlifting’s record books in Tashkent while chief rival China is absent (Team China withdrew from the 2024 AWC to focus primarily on the upcoming IWF World Cup in April). Uncontested, Hyang won the 71-kilogram Group A session by a 33-kilogram margin while taking several cracks at Angie Dajomes‘ 121-kilogram snatch record. Here’s a full breakdown of Hyang’s performance at the 2024 AWC: 

Snatch: 115x, 115, 122x

Clean & Jerk: 145, 154* | World Record


*Note: Hyang declined her final clean & jerk attempt, ultimately going three-for-six on the day. 

Nearly Perfect

Like the rest of team PRK, Hyang hasn’t been seen on an IWF stage since her country withdrew from international weightlifting in 2019. Prior to that, she’d competed in Junior meets as far back as 2017. When unleashed onto the lifting platform, though, she’s quite literally been unstoppable: 

2017 Junior Asian Weightlifting Championships: 1st

2017 Youth Asian Weightlifting Championships: 1st

2019 Junior Asian Weightlifting Championships: 1st

19th Asian Games: 1st

2023 IWF Grand Prix II: 1st

However, Hyang’s world-class strength in the 71-kilogram division appears to be par for the course for Team PRK as a whole. Five days into the continental Asian championships, which is hosting 192 athletes from 34 different countries, and North Korea has won every single weight class in both gender divisions and set all of the new world records established at the event

Indonesian weightlifter Rahmat Erwin Abdullah and his 204-kilogram clean & jerk world record from Feb. 6 stand as the lone blemish on PRK’s performance thus far. Abdullah won the Men’s 73-kilogram event — the only athlete to prevent North Korea from running the table altogether. If Team PRK were allowed entry into the upcoming 2024 Olympics, they’d be all but guaranteed to sweep the weightlifting event as a whole. But the People’s Republic, along with record-setting Hyang, will not take the stage in Paris this August. 

More Weightlifting News

Kang Hyon Gyong (55KG) Breaks Snatch World Record at 2024 Asian Weightlifting Championships

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

Weightlifter Won Hyon Sim Sets First-Ever World Records in 45-Kilogram Division

Featured Image courtesy of Weightlifting House

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