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HOU Zhihui Crowned 49kg Olympic Champion on First Day of Tokyo 2020

HOU Zhihui (49kg) of China wrote a new chapter of the record books as she claimed gold in the 49kg bodyweight category Saturday, the first day of the Weightlifting competition at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 

HOU set seven Olympic Records overall during her competition, ending the day owning all three Olympic Records with a 94kg snatch, 116kg clean & jerk and 210kg total. HOU went a perfect six-for-six en route to victory at her first Olympic Games.

“I was very happy the second I finally did it. I prepared for five years, so it means a lot to me,” HOU said. “I just want to be myself, be all of myself, make all my practice (towards a) medal. I’m happy I did it.”

HOU, the 2018 World Champion, already owns the World and Asian continental records in snatch (96kg) and Total (213kg) in the 49kg bodyweight category.

In an exciting clean & jerk session, Olympic Silver Medalist MIRABAI Chanu Saikhom of India set an Olympic Record with her 115kg second attempt. She missed setting a new Olympic Record on her third attempt of 117kg. Combined with her 87kg snatch, MIRABAI posted a 202kg total.

It was a moment of redemption five years in the making after MIRABAI failed to make a total at the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016.

India’s only athlete in the Weightlifting competition, MIRABAI brings home a silver medal, her nation’s first Silver medal in Weightlifting ever, and the first medal for India of these Games.

“From childhood I had a dream to have an Olympic medal. It’s a big thing for me,” MIRABAI said. “[Youth in India] will be inspired by this, and it’s going to get more medals for India.”

MIRABAI exits Tokyo still owning the World Record in the clean & jerk with her 119kg lift made at April’s 2021 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent. 

2021 IWF Junior World Champion AISAH Windy Cantika claimed Indonesia’s first medal of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a Bronze Medal-winning performance. After missing her opening snatch attempt at 84kg, AISAH came back to make 84kg on her second then missing 87kg on her third. AISAH went a perfect 3-for-3 in clean & jerk with a best lift of 110kg to post a 194kg total.

“I am really happy. I praise the Lord,” AISAH said. “I am very surprised by this result. I’m surprised at the age of 19 that I can win the medal.”

Earlier in the day, the women’s 49kg B bodyweight category kicked off Olympic competition. TOUA Loa Dika of Papua New Guinea was the first athlete called to the Olympic platform. She completed a 69kg snatch, making the first lift of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 a good lift. 

Later in the competition, Nathasha ROSA FIGUEIREDO saved her second clean & jerk attempt, at 95kg, impressing the small crowd of media members in the venue, and viewers tuned in on television and online from around the world. 

The men’s competition gets underway Sunday when two new Olympic Champions will be crowned. The men’s 61kg & 67kg B session gets underway at 11:50AM local time in the Olympic City. The men’s 61kg A session follows at 15:50 followed by the men’s 67kg A session at 19:50.