Weightlifter Jang Mi-ran's dream of winning a medal in three consecutive Olympic Games was dashed on Saturday when she finished fourth in the women's +75 kg category at the ExCeL Arena in the London Olympic Games.
Jang lifted 125 kg in snatch and 164 kg in clean and jerk, but the total of 289 kg is 37 kg less than her gold-medal triumph in Beijing. Then Jang cleared 140 kg in snatch and 186 kg in clean and jerk, shattering the world record with a total of 326 kg.
Her chances were tough. It was apparent early in the game that the battle for gold was between Lulu Zhou of China and Tatiana Kashirina of Russia. Jang competed for bronze medal with Armenian Hripsime Khurshudyan. In her third attempt in clean and jerk, Jang failed at 170 kg and the medal went to Khurshudyan, who lifted a total of 294 kg.
But anybody watching Jang doing her best in her third Olympic appearance, which came while she is battling hip, waist and left-shoulder injuries, was moved by the way she approached her beloved sport. The moment she failed and the bronze medal slipped away from her hands, Jang knelt down and prayed on the platform. She sent a kiss to the barbell and bid farewell to her Olympic run.
In an interview right after the competition, Jang said, "I feel fortunate that I was able to conclude the competition without getting injured. I'm also grateful that I was able to compete in the Olympics. The one thing I regret is disappointing all the people who showed me support and love because my record was nowhere as good as what I did in Beijing. I did my best with what I had."