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Weightlifter Shi Zhiyong Lifts Unofficial Snatch and Total World Records at National Games of China

Chinese weightlifter Shi Zhiyong is known for his fiery lungs on stage and apparent obsession with collecting gold medals. The 73-kilogram (160.9-pound) 2020 Olympic Champion earned himself yet more accolades on September 22, 2021, at the 14th National Games of China. 

Zhiyong snatched 170 kilograms (374.7 pounds) and totaled 365 kilograms (804 pounds) in competition to win his session, lift two unofficial World Records, and establish new Chinese National Records. The two-time Olympic champions’ snatch was paired with a 195-kilogram clean & jerk. You can check out his lift below alongside some of the other big lifts from the session, courtesy of @mastrength’s Instagram page:

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The 365-kilogram total exceeds Zhiyong’s gold-medal result from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by a single kilogram. 

In a League of His Own

Since his appearance in 2012, Shi Zhiyong has not lost an international weightlifting event. This level of competitive prestige has been attained by few competitors — even all-time greats such as Lasha Talakhadze and Ilya Ilyin have had silver or bronze medals around their necks at some point.

The 27-year-old prodigy from Guangxi Province seems to have no interest in taking home anything but the gold, whether at National events in China or the Olympic Games. 

Shi Zhiyong Major International Wins

  • Asian Championships — 2012, 2016, 2019, 2020
  • World Championships — 2015, 2018, 2019
  • IWF World Cup — 2019 
  • Olympic Games — 2016, 2020

His 170-kilogram snatch in the Shaanxi Province, where China’s 14th National Games are held, is also another landmark for Team China. It matches the competition best snatch of Liao Hui, Zhiyong’s predecessor in the now-defunct 69-kilogram category. Hui snatched 170 kilograms in 2015 while competing slightly over his normal body weight

Zhiyong’s Final Form

In a post-Olympics interview on Instagram, Zhiyong mentioned that, despite his “poor training” leading up to Tokyo (where he won a gold medal and set new World Records), he has not yet achieved his “final form” and that his best is yet to come. 

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Shi’s performance at the 2021 CNG seems to support his notion that he’s got a lot of gas left in his tank. Zhiyong, like the entirety of Team China’s Tokyo roster, is competing at the National Games and is presumably on the shortlist of picks for the 2021 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Tashkent in December. 

If Zhiyong can add another three kilograms to his snatch in Uzbekistan, he will join a very select club of lifters — like teammate and two-time Olympic Champion Lu Xiaojun — to snatch 100 kilograms above his competition bodyweight. While nothing is certain, Shi’s trajectory on the platform indicates he can get the job done. 

Featured Image: @luxiaojunbarbell on Instagram 

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