LONDON — North Korea's Om Yun Chol said he wanted to lift a big weight and make the other athletes nervous.
He definitely nailed that strategy.
Om, standing all of 5 feet and 123 pounds, won a gold medal by confidently lifting an Olympic-record 370 pounds in the clean and jerk at the London Games.
Only a handful of people have lifted more than three times their body weight, and this one came out of nowhere.
Om was in the "B" group with lower-ranked competitors and lifted weights of 160 and 165 kilograms on his first two attempts early in the day. He got the crowd roaring when it was announced he would go for 168 kilograms — the Olympic record.
Among the few lifters who have cleared three times their body weight are Halil Mutlu and Naim Suleymanoglu, also of Turkey, known as the "Pocket Hercules."
A rower from Niger also captivated an Olympic crowd on Sunday when he trudged to the finish in last place in a single sculls repechage.
With the packed grandstand cheering him on at Dorney Lake, 35-year-old Hamadou Djibo Issaka pushed though the pain and found enough energy to finish nearly 1 minute, 40 seconds behind the winner.
After hearing the finishing horn, he slumped over in his boat, totally spent. After a few seconds, he lifted his head and saluted the crowd while wearing a wide grin.
Djibo Issaka learned how to row only three months ago and has a technique that can generously be described as crude. He received a wild card from the IOC Tripartite Commission, which allows each National Olympic Committee to enter up to five athletes for the Summer Games.
"It went well," he said in French to The Associated Press. "I passed the finish line. It was great."
After some seats were empty on the first full day of competition, organizers turned to troops, teachers and students to fill the gaps at a handful of Olympic venues.
Organizing chief Sebastian Coe predicted unused tickets, largely by Olympic and sports officials, will not be an issue as the games proceed.
"It is obvious, some of those seats are not being used in the early rounds," he said at a briefing.
Coe's organizing team has long promised to fill venues and avoid a similar problem from the Beijing Olympics.
The rest of the Olympic action Sunday:
Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Spain to a 97-81 victory over China in their Olympic men's opener.
Spain got off to a slow start and had a 19-17 lead at the end of the first quarter. But it went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter to grab a cushion and was never seriously challenged the rest of the game.
Argentina kicked off its quest for a third straight men's basketball medal with a 102-79 victory over Lithuania. Luis Scola scored 32 points, and Manu Ginobili had 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
So far, so good for the defending champion U.S. men's team, which opened Olympic play by sweeping Serbia behind Matt Anderson's 18 points.
Captain Clay Stanley added 13 points in the 25-17, 25-22, 25-21 victory at Earls Court.
Also, Bulgaria swept Britain, 25-18, 25-20, 26-24, and Russia defeated Germany 31-29, 25-18, 25-17. Australia, coached by Jon Uriarte, lost to Argentina 25-21, 25-22, 25-20. Son Nicolas Uriarte is a setter on the Argentine team.
Peter Varellas had three goals to lead the United States to an 8-7 victory over Montenegro.
U.S. captain Tony Azevedo scored with less than a minute to play, but Vladimir Gojkovic answered 10 seconds later to pull back within a goal.
Montenegro then had possession with 17 seconds to play but couldn't get off a shot before time expired.
Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, wowed the home crowd and a few relatives in her Olympic equestrian debut.
The 31-year-old Phillips registered a slight mistake on her appropriately named horse, High Kingdom, and earned 46.1 penalty points at Greenwich Park, placing her 24th out of 74 riders with two disciplines to go in the eventing dressage competition.
Scattered showers sent fans at the picturesque Horse Guards Parade scurrying for shelter during the second day of the beach volleyball tournament, dampening what had been a festive mood but not deterring the second half of the field from making its 2012 Games debut.
Defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States, and the No. 2 American women's team, April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, each won in straight sets.
Britain, Ireland and the revitalized American team are perfect so far.
Jose Ramirez and Errol Spence won their opening bouts to move the U.S. to 4-0, while Freddie Evans and Josh Taylor rode the home crowd's raucous cheers to a 3-0 start for Britain.
Powerhouse Spain was eliminated, Brazil and Japan wrapped up spots in the quarterfinals and host Britain is back on track with one round of qualifying matches to go in the men's tournament.
Spain was hoping to add Olympic gold to the World Cup and European Championship titles held by the country's full national team. But it lost 1-0 to Honduras and is without a goal in the tournament heading into its last game against Morocco on Wednesday.
Maria Sharapova won her Olympic debut indoors, beating Shahar Peer of Israel 6-2, 6-0, and Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and David Ferrer were among the seeded winners on the men's side at Wimbledon.
Wu Minxia and partner He Zi won the first diving gold medal of the Olympics, moving China one step closer to a sweep of the eight events in London.
Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia of China won their opening matches, beginning a road that is expected to bring one of them Olympic gold in women's singles.
British star Ben Ainslie, trying to become the greatest Olympic sailor ever, finished second to Denmark's Jonas Hoegh-Christensen in the first two races on Weymouth Bay.
South Korea won the Olympic gold medal in women's team archery for the seventh straight time.
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands won the gold medal in the women's road race in a rain-drenched sprint, leaving Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead with silver and the host country's first medal of the London Olympics.
Aron Szilagyi of Hungary won the Olympic gold medal in the men's individual saber by defeating Diego Occhiuzzi of Italy 15-8 after the top four seeds all stumbled out before the semifinals.
The Netherlands took its first step toward retaining the Olympic women's field hockey gold, beating newcomer Belgium 3-0. Argentina lived up to its reputation as one of the tournament favorites by dominating South Africa 7-1.
An Kae Um won North Korea's first Olympic gold medal in London in the women's 52-kilogram category, and Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia took the men's 66-kilogram category.
Asian Games champion Chen Long of China reached the final 16 in the Olympic competition by defeating Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand 21-12, 21-17.
Defending champion France defeated Britain 44-15 in their opener, dashing the host's hopes for a decent performance in a sport that lacks the popularity of football and rugby in Britain.
Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan won the Olympic gold medal in women's 53-kilogram.