Weightlifting - North Korea slams 'West' for damaging weightlifting

North Korea has slammed the West's "depraved capitalist system" for damaging the sport of weightlifting and putting commercial interests ahead of national honour.

Weightlifting - North Korea slams 'West' for damaging weightlifting

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UNITED KINGDOM, London : North Korea's Om Yun Chol celebrates after competing during the weightlifting men's 56kg group B at the Excel Center in London during the 2012 London Olympic Games on July 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ

North Korea won three weightlifting gold medals and one bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games, while Om Yun-chol, who won the 56 kilogram weight class in London, took home gold at last month's World Championships in Poland.

The North's official KCNA news agency said on Monday weightlifting was in a state of crisis in the West and that not a single lifter from the United States or Western Europe stood on the podium in Poland.

The KCNA reported that a former coach on the US team had said it was impossible to make a living from weightlifting in his country as the development of sport was driven by what people liked to watch, not the country's pursuit of Olympic gold medals.

"His remarks give a glimpse of American society where sport is abused as a means for moneymaking," KCNA said.

"As a matter of fact, in capitalist society the national sports development depends on market, not on the state policy, and making money is regarded more important than to display nation's honour."

KCNA also reported that coaches and lifters from Britain and France bemoaned the lack of support for weightlifting in their countries.

"This is a tragedy produced by the depraved capitalist system in which money decides everything," it said.

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