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Toughness hands Cuban the gold

Cuban weightlifter Pablo Lara was not about to let a torn callus get in his way.

Lara tore a callus at the base of his right ring finger during the second of his three lifts in the snatch. He missed his third and final one Wednesday but came back with a strong performance in the clean-and-jerk to win the gold medal in the 167{-pound weight class.

As he walked away from the platform after tearing the callus, he repeatedly shook his right hand.

"It hurt very badly when I was doing the (final) snatch," Lara said. "It hurt less in the clean-and-jerk. I've had this happen in competition before."

Lara combined to lift 810 pounds on his best efforts in the snatch and clean-and-jerk _ 11 shy of the world record he set three months ago.

Yoto Yotov of Bulgaria won the silver medal with a total of 793{ pounds.

Lara and Yotov were silver medalists in the 1992 Olympics _ in different weight classes _ and finished 1-2 in last year's world championships.

Jon Chol-Ho of North Korea won the bronze Wednesday with a total of 788 pounds. Viktor Mitrou of Greece also lifted 788, but Jon won the bronze by virtue of lighter body weight.

Lara was in fourth place after the snatch. He was injured while lifting 358 pounds, then failed at 369\ pounds. But those ahead of Lara in the snatch all fell out of contention before he made his first attempt in the clean-and-jerk.

Khachatur Kyapanaksian of Armenia, who lifted 363} pounds in the snatch, missed all three attempts in the clean-and-jerk.

Jon and Mitrou also lifted 358 pounds in the snatch, but they ranked ahead of Lara because of lighter body weight. Each lifted 429} pounds in the clean-and-jerk.

Lara waited until 440} pounds for his first clean-and-jerk attempt and was successful to clinch the gold medal. He later lifted 451} pounds. He holds the world record in the clean-and-jerk at 458{ pounds.

There were no Americans among the 24 competitors.