Updated September. 28, 2007 03:17
When Jang Mi-ran improved her record by a kilogram at the International Tournament last May, it made her the first woman to win the womens weightlifting championship three years in a row.
It was not smooth sailing for Jang to achieve that feat, however.
In 2004 at the Athens Olympics, due to dubious calls by judges, she had to settle for a silver medal. At that time, Jang successfully lifted weights of 130kg in the snatch and 172.5kg in the jerk, which seemed enough to give her the gold medal. But she saw the medal taken away by her rival Tang Gonghong (China) when Tang lifted 182.5kg in the jerk (305kg total).
Due to fatigue and a hip injury, Jang again had to be satisfied with a silver medal during the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Making matters worse, Jang dropped out of college soon afterward.
She was admitted to Korea University in 2005 when she moved from the Wonju City Hall team to the Goyang City Hall team, but was subject to the school rule that, Those who are either attending a college or are on a break from a college are not allowed to play as professional players in sport, and was forced to leave school.
Still, Jang, by winning the Korean Weightlifting Cup (in three different technique categories) held in June, dispelled concerns of the people around her. A gold medal is within reach at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.