Halil Mutlu won his third consecutive Olympic gold medal, ignoring his biggest rival's prediction the Little Dynamo was ready to lose.

Mutlu, his career in doubt two years ago following two serious injuries, joined Turkish predecessor Naim Suleymanoglu and Greece's Pyrros Dimas and Khaki Kakiasvilis as three-time weightlifting gold medalists.

China's Wu Meijin, the two-time defending world champion, recently called Mutlu "old and no longer formidable."

Mutlu, only 4 feet 11 yet one of just four men to lift three times his body weight, hasn't lost since finishing second at the 1995 worlds, and has won 16 of his last 17 world-level competitions.

"I am 31, but I can still play PlayStation like I was 12," said Mutlu, whose 650 pounds easily topped Wu's 6331/2. "I think I will feel young when I am 60. One of my positive qualities is that I train and try harder than my younger competitors."

Meanwhile, world champion Udomporn Polsak became the first woman from Thailand to win an Olympic gold medal.

Polsak, missing only once during six powerfully executed lifts, held off Indonesia's Lisa Raema Rumbewas in the 53kg class.

Polsak visited Thai monks and numerous Buddhist temples to maintain her concentration. "That gave me confidence for winning," she said.

-- From News Services

Turkey's Halil Mutlu joins 3 others as 3-time weightlifting gold medalists.