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CHN Sweeps Gold on Day 2 of Tokyo 2020

CHN owns all of the gold medals in the Weightlifting competition thus far after the nation swept the top of the podium in Sunday’s medal sessions of at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Sunday. 

After a slow start in snatch in the men’s 67kg competition, CHEN Lijun (CHN) shined in the clean & jerk. The 4-time IWF World Champion jumped 12 kilograms on his second attempt to make 187kg, an Olympic Record, and a 332kg total, another Olympic Record to secure the gold medal. He skipped his third attempt.

“I have many feelings, because since a long time I’ve been struggling – working hard,” CHEN said. “My contestants are very strong; they are very respectable. So because they are strong, I feel I have to be stronger.

MOSQUERA LOZANO Luis Javier set a new Pan American Record in snatch, with a 151kg lift, as he went on to win the silver medal. The 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist’s 331kg total set an Olympic Record before it was broken one lift later by CHEN (CHN). 

“I want to thank god for this situation. It’s been really, really tough to get here. We had to fight very hard, so I thank god for this opportunity and for this win,” MOSQUERA LOZANO said. “”It’s been wonderful to fight against my Chinese opponent. I’m also very happy for him and for my Italian colleague. But let’s hope that we get more medals in the future.”

ITA’s ZANNI Mirko pulled himself back from the brink of disaster to win bronze. After missing his 172kg opening clean & jerk, he missed 177kg on his second attempt. ZANNI had a strong showing on his third attempt, making 177kg to secure third place overall. He’s the first athlete from ITA to win an Olympic medal in Weightlifting since Noberto OBERBURGER won gold in the men’s 100kg event at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984.

Earlier in the day’s first A session, LI Fabin (CHN) set new Olympic Records in clean & jerk (116kg) and total (313kg) as he claimed gold in his first Olympic Games.

“I always set a higher place to push myself to be better. It was a little easier than I thought,” the 2019 World Champion said. “On the first snatch (137kg) I could not make it. So I kept calm and just did it. I am really excited.”

Saturday, CHN’s HOU Zhihui won gold in the women’s 49kg category, the day’s only medal session.

Silver medalist IRAWAN Eko Yuli (INA) joined an elite list of Weightlifting athletes to win a medal at four Olympic Games. IRAWAN, who turned 32 years old Saturday, is only the fifth Weightlifting athlete to achieve the feat after Pyrros DIMAS (GRE), Nikolai PESHALOV (CRO), Ronny WELTER (GDR/GER) and Norbert SCHEMANSKY (USA). IRAWAN now owns two Olympic silver and two Olympic bronze medals, the only athlete from Indonesia to win more than three Olympic medals in any sport. 

“I am very grateful even though I have not gotten any gold medals yet,” IRAWAN said. “I think the pandemic really bothered my training. I had to practice at home. The delay made it difficult to get the gold medal.” 

In the clean & jerk portion of the competition both LI and IRAWAN attempted world records. LI would win the battle, but not the world record, settling for a 113kg clean & jerk, a new Olympic Record. 

“To me the record is not the Olympic record, it is my own record,” LI said. “I just wanted to break my own record.”

SON Igor (KAZ) took home the bronze medal with a 294kg total. 

“Right now I cannot describe my feelings, but it is amazing. I am just happy,” SON said. “I was nervous and scared watching my other competitors. I got my medal, but it was scary watching the others.”

The first session of the day brought a unique circumstance, thanks to a quirk in the competition schedule. The ANDRIANTSITOHAINA brothers of Madagascar shared the Olympic stage during the combined men’s 61kg and 67kg B session of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

“It was good to compete with my brother,” the younger ANDRIANTSITOHAINA brother, Tojonirina Alain, 26, said. “Our family is very proud about the competition.”

“Both of us were on this road together and we are so happy to be here,” the older ANDRIANTSITOHAINA brother, Eric Herman, told the IWF after the competition. “It’s a pleasure [to share the Olympic platform with my brother].”

The brothers are the only athletes from Madagascar in the weightlifting competition at Tokyo 2020.

Monday’s competition brings the women’s 55kg bodyweight category to the Olympic stage. The women’s 55kg B session begins at 1:50PM followed by the A session at 7:50PM.