China’s Hou wins 49-kg weightlifting gold

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Tokyo

China’s Zhihui Hou won the gold medal in women’s 49-kg weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics, bagging the second gold for China in as many competitions, with a comfortable win over Indian and Indonesian medalists.

Hou broke the Olympic records in all three categories of snatch, clean and jerk, and total with 210 kg, three kilos short of her own world record. She also holds the world record with 96 kg in snatch, which she didn’t attempt in Tokyo.

Mirabai Chanu, India’s only athlete in weightlifting, took home the silver medal. Chanu still holds the world record in clean and jerk of 119 kg.

In Rio 2016, Chanu was one of two athletes in her category who didn’t register a total, after failing all three of her clean and jerk attempts.

Nineteen-year-old Indonesian lifter Windy Cantika Aisah clinched the bronze medal with 194 kg in total.

Making her Olympic debut, medal hopeful U.S. lifter Jourdan Delacruz failed all three attempts at clean and jerk. Japan’s veteran lifter Hiromi Miyake also failed similarly, and both failed to register a total.

There are two Olympic lifts: the clean and jerk, and the snatch. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each lift. The best lift in each is combined to determine the overall total. Athletes must successfully attempt the snatch before proceeding to the clean and jerk.

Earlier on Saturday, China’s Yang Qian had claimed the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 10-metre rifle competition.

Teenager Windy Cantika Aisah took the bronze for Indonesia after smashing her personal best twice in the clean and jerk.

The 19-year-old from Bandung hoisted 110kg with her third attempt and screamed with delight as she secured a medal.

She put her success down to her mum Siti, who was also a weightlifter. “Yes my mum inspired me and though I cannot say what will happen in the future, right now I am just so happy,” Aisah told AFP.

Hou’s victory could herald a gold rush for China in the weightlifting, especially with arch-rivals North Korea absent.

China have sent a full quota of four men and four women to Tokyo, and all are capable of finishing on the top step of the podium.

– Papuan history-maker- Earlier in Group B of the 49kg competition, Papua New Guinea’s Loa Dika Toua made history as the first female to compete in five Olympic weightlifting competitions, just a few hours after carrying her nation’s flag at the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony.

It was a remarkable achievement by the 37-year-old, coming 21 years after she became the first female ever to lift at an Olympic Games, when women’s weightlifting was first introduced at Sydney 2000.—Reuters

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