Netherland's Sophie van Gestel dives for the ball during the women's beach volleyball preliminary phase Pool E match against Brazil on the Center Court Stadium at Horse Guards Parade in London on July 29, 2012, during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Brazil won 2-0. / Getty Images
(AP) 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.
First lady Michelle Obama was part of a big crowd that watched the U.S. men's basketball team open tournament play with a 98-71 win over France. Kevin Durant scored 22 points and LeBron James finished with nine points, eight assists and five rebounds.
"It wasn't perfect," said James, who had nine points, eight assists and five rebounds. "We've still got room for improvement."
Kimberly Rhode also put on a show at the Royal Artillery Barracks, winning the gold medal in women's skeet shooting to become the first American to take an individual-sport medal in five consecutive Olympics.
Rhode tied the world record and set an Olympic mark with 99 points. She also set an Olympic record in qualifying, missing only one of her 75 shots.
Visit the following pages for the rest of the Olympic action Sunday.