BEIJING (AFP) - Sa Jaeh-Youk of South Korea won the men's 77kg weightlifting gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion on Wednesday, inflicting China's first defeat in the competition. Sa hoisted 203kg in the clean and jerk and 163kg in the snatch for a total lift of 366kg and the South Koreans' first weightlifting title in these Games. Li Hongli of China achieved the same total but Sa won by virtue of his lower body weight. Gevorg Davtyan of Armenia won the bronze with 360kg. The soft-spoken Sa said he was spurred on to victory by the nightmarish performance of his colleagues here, who were in the running for the medals with huge lifts in the snatch, only to collapse during the clean and jerk segment. "They really kept me awake at night," he said. The Korean looked out of it after his meagre snatch effort, but went for broke in the clean and jerk, converting his first attempt at 201kg, a kilogramme better than his result at last year's world championships where he placed fifth overall. Favourite Li and his home fans could only look on helplessly after he'd finished his routine with a final clean and jerk heave of 198kg. The Korean grabbed the lead for good with a second lift of 203kg. For his last lift the 23 year-old from Hongcheon went hunting for the clean and jerk world record but his audacious 211kg effort failed. Sa said his strategy was "to keep the gap as close as possible in the snatch, and make the decisive move in the clean and jerk". He added: "I think that strategy worked." Li, 28, who fell short here having missed the Athens Olympics four years ago, announced he would retire in 2009. "I tried my best," he insisted, explaining his result was "pretty much at the level I achieved in training". He added: "There was nothing to regret." Li said the decisive moment came when he failed to convert his third snatch lift of 170kg, which could have put the gold beyond the South Korean. "After my first clean and jerk effort (193kg), I felt my physical strength was going downhill and I started cramping in my arms." He added: "Next year, I will attend the national games and then retire." Defending champion Taner Sagir was eliminated early on after failing with all three of his snatch attempts. The Turk, who also crashed out at this year's European championships with the same problem, failed to convert three tries at 165kg. Sagir, the 77kg champion at the Athens Games and world champion in 2006, appeared to sprain his right shoulder during the first attempt and failed to get the barbell off the ground with his next two efforts.