The 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships — which took place from April 16-25, 2021— wrapped up this week in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This marks one of the final international competitions held in the Asian region until late May, when Tashkent will play host to the IWF Junior World Championships.
Much like the recent European Weightlifting Championships, this gold-level qualifier represents one of the final opportunities for athletes seeking a bid for the Tokyo Olympic Games. As such, the competition was fierce, and many records were broken. Let’s take a look at the results and some of the memorable moments from the competition.
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Even while facing some heavy competition from countries like Taipei and South Korea, China proves that they are a force of nature in the Womens’ division. Of the 29 medals awarded in the Total, China took home over a third, despite the absence of perhaps their most dominant athlete, Deng Wei (64KG), who weighed in but did not participate.
Note: These results are from the “A Group” sessions, where athletes are vying for podium positions.
- Jhilli Dalabehera (IND) 157 (69/88)
- Mary Flor Diaz (PHI) 135 (60/75)
- Hou Zhihui (CHN) 213 (96/117)
- Jiang Huihua (CHN) 207 (89/118)
- Chanu Saikhom Mirabai (IND) 205 (86/119)
- Liao Qiuyun (CHN) 222 (98/124)
- Li Yajun (CHN) 221 (101/120)
- Muattar Nabieva (UZB) 213 (99/114)
- Kuo Hsing-Chun (TPE) 247 (110/137)
- Luo Xiaomin (CHN) 227 (102/125)
- Thi Duyen Hoang (VIE) 216 (100/116)
- Chen Wen-Huei (TPE) 228 (100/128)
- Elreen Ann Ando (PHI) 213 (94/119)
- Han Sojin (KOR) 211 (96/115)
- Vanessa Sarno (PHI) 229 (101/128)
- Gulnabat Kadyrova (TKM) 223 (102/121)
- Yekaterina Bykova (KAZ) 213 (91/122)
- Zhang Wangli (CHN) 263 (115/148)
- Kim Suhyeon (KOR) 244 (106/138)
- Kristel Macrohon (PHI) 225 (99/126)
- Jang Hyeonju (KOR) 236 (103/133)
- Karina Kuzganbayeva (KAZ) 232 (104/128)
- Aysoltan Toychyyeva (TKM) 218 (96/122)
- Wang Zhouyu (CHN) 286 (126/160)
- Kang Yue (CHN) 273 (118/155)
- Ankhtsetseg Munkhjantsan (MGL) 247 (111/136)
- Li Wenwen (CHN) 335 (148/187)
- Son Younghee (KOR) 279 (120/159)
- Aizada Muptilda (KAZ) 269 (118/151)
In the Mens’ division, China continued to rack up medals, though not as comprehensively as their women did (seven medals in the total to the womens’ nine). Strong competition from Kazakhstan (four medals) and Uzbekistan (five) prove that China isn’t the only Asian country with a heavy-hitting roster.
- Arli Chontey (KAZ) 255 (115/140)
- Ablay Auyelkhanov (KAZ) 244 (108/136)
- Kumara Dilara Isuru Yodage (SRI) 241 (104/137)
- Li Fabin (CHN) 312 (142/170)
- Seraj Abdulrahim Alsaleem (KSA) 286 (125/161)
- Yoichi Itokazu (JPN) 285 (130/155)
- Chen Lijun (CHN) 333 (153/180)
- Huang Minhao (CHN) 332 (155/177)
- Adkhamjon Ergashev (UZB) 316 (140/176)
- Shi Zhiyong (CHN) 363 (169/194)
- Maksad Meredov (TKM) 336 (147/189)
- Masanori Miyamoto (JPN) 335 (150/185)
- Lu Xiaojun (CHN) 373 (174/199)
- Mukhammadkodir Toshtemirov (UZB) 353 (160/193)
- Rejepbay Rejepov (TKM) 341 (156/185)
- Kianoush Rostami (IRI) 373 (167/206)
- Nurgissa Adiletuly (KAZ) 372 (169/203)
- Sarvarbek Zafarjonov (UZB) 368 (166/202)
- Tian Tao (CHN) 386 (175/211)
- Sohrab Moradi (IRI) 384 (174/210)
- Jang Yeonhak (KOR) 379 (174/205)
- Rasoul Sedeh Motamedi (IRI) 400 (173/227)
- Fares Ibrahim Elbakh (QAT) 396 (174/222)
- Artyom Antropov (KAZ) 390 (168/222)
- Ruslan Nurudinov (UZB) 429 (188/241)
- Akbar Djuraev (UZB) 428 (194/234)
- Yang Zhe (CHN) 415 (200/215)
- Ali Davoudi (IRI) 435 (196/239)
- Man Asaad (SYR) 433 (195/238)
- Eishiro Murakami (JPN) 415 (190/225)
2020 AWC Highlights & Standouts
The top lifters in the world gathered for a shot at glory and Olympic Games qualification. In the process, world records were set, and grit and heart were on full display. Here are a few noteworthy standouts from the 2020 AWC.
You can also check out all the world records set at the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships.
Kuo Hsing-Chun (59KG, TPE)
To almost no one’s surprise, Hsing-Chun sets another unbelievable World Record in the snatch with a 110-kilogram lift. The middleweight powerhouse from Chinese Taipei, who currently holds the records in the snatch, clean & jerk, and total, continues to stand out as one of the very few weightlifters on Earth able to deny China gold medals in divisions where they are historically strong.
Lu Xiaojun (81KG, CHN)
A man who needs no introduction, Xiaojun set yet another world record in the Snatch with a 174-kilogram effort. Having established over a dozen individual world records in his career, the 36-year-old legend of the sport proves that age is just a number as he likely guarantees himself a spot in Tokyo. Although his snatch record was beaten by one kilogram shortly after by teammate Li Dayin, Xiaojun clinched gold in the total after Dayin failed to post a successful clean & jerk.
Kang Yue and Wang Zhouyu (87KG, CHN)
These two tag-teamed the podium in the 87-kilogram division by a margin of nearly thirty kilograms in the total, leaving the young Mongolian Ankhtsetseg Munkhjantsan to fight for bronze. The two Chinese powerhouses have made it very clear that first place in Tokyo is all but a lock. Zhouyu, in particular, seems poised to devour the competition, besting her teammate Yue here by 13 kilograms and outpacing the winner of the 87kg class at the European Championships by a ludicrous 40kg.
Li Wenwen (+87KG, CHN)
Wenwen solidified her position as the new queen of the +87 kilogram division with fresh world records in both the snatch and Clean & Jerk. Having set junior world records as recently as 2019, the young super from China looks to be the reigning champion of her category for the foreseeable future.
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Sohrab Moradi (96KG, IRI)
Moradi also made a serious return to competition against long-time Chinese rival Tian Tao, whom he lost to in the total by a slim two kilograms. The former Olympic Champion has been battling his way back to the podium after a series of debilitating injuries in 2019. While still a far cry from his best numbers, Moradi’s 174/210 performance indicates that he is on the mend and could soon be a threat in the extremely competitive 96-kilogram category.
Ruslan Nurudinov (109KG, UZB)
Nurudinov crushed gold with a staggering 241-kilogram lift in the clean & jerk. The 2016 Olympic Champion, who took a hiatus from competition for several years following his performance in Rio, returned to the international stage in a big way — overcoming a sizable deficit in the snatch portion to win it all with a world record clean & jerk.
The fierce competition in Tashkent over the last week paints a clear picture of the competitive climate in the Asian circuit leading up to Tokyo. China roars over every other country, securing one or more medals in almost every weight class. The results from this event will likely be the determining factor in who they select for the Olympic Games.
With the Pan-American Championships running in tandem in Santo Domingo and the recent conclusion of the European Championships in Moscow, the shape of the board for Tokyo 2020 is becoming more clear. While COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the international calendar over the last 12 months, the fiery battles that have taken place at international competitions this spring prove that the athletes are as prepared and hungry as ever for what awaits them in Tokyo.
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games will commence on July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Full results from the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships can be found here.
Featured image: @shenzhenweightlifting on Instagram
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