Weightlifter Kim Van snatches Vietnam's first Asian gold    
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Dec 30 2013

Nguyen Thi Kim Van has become the first female weightlifter to win an Asian gold medal in Vietnamese history.

Van, who ranked second in the Asian Weightlifting Championships' over-75kg category, was pushed to top place after the winner, Alexandra Aborneva, tested positive for banned drugs. 

Following the initial result from the tournament, held in June in Astana, Kazakhstan, Van came in second in the snatch (106kg) and total (242kg) events, and did not place among the top three in the jerk-and-clean (136kg). Aborneva had lifted 110kg, 253kg and 143kg, respectively. 

However, organisers found that Aborneva, representing Kazakhstan, had used dehydrochlormethy-ltestosterone, which was named on the list of substances forbidden for use during competitions. She was then stripped of all titles and banned from competing for two years. 

As a result, Van, 25, became the winner in the snatch and total event, jumping to third place in the jerk-and-clean. 

Head of the Weightlifting Department of the National Sports Administration Do Dinh Khang said apart from Van, nearly 30 other athletes in different categories were also found guilty. All of these athletes were fined and banned from competing. 

Other Vietnamese athletes also received medals after foreign athletes were found to have taken illegal performance enhancing drugs. 

In the men's 85kg, Hoang Tan Tai grabbed a bronze in the jerk-and-clean and a silver in the total events. 

In the men's 94kg, Tran Van Hoa pocketed two bronze medals in the jerk-and-clean and a silver in the total classes. 

Earlier, the best results by an athlete from Vietnam at the Astana championships were three silver medals by Southeast Asian Games champion Thach Kim Tuan in the men's 56kg.
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