The Olympic weightlifting event kicked off on Sunday with the Men’s 56kg division, and what an event it was. Excitement was unbelievable as record after record fell. Om Yun-Chol set an Olympic record with an impressive 169kg clean and jerk, only to be beaten by Long Qingquan two minutes later with a massive 170kg lift, breaking two records with one lift – both Olympic and world.This put Qingquan firmly in the gold medal position, leaving the former gold medalist and Olympic record holder, Om Yun-Chol, with the silver. The bronze medal was given to Thailand’s Sinphet Kruaithong, after the podium contender and favourite Kim Tuan Thach of Vietnam failed on his clean and jerks.
The women’s side was not a let down either, matching the men’s event in excitement, strength and endurance. Gold medal favourite Li Yajun missed all three attempts at the clean and jerk, leaving Chinese Taipei’s competitor Hsu Shu-Ching to play it safe and complete her first lift well within herself, hoisting a modest 112kg, leading up to a 212kg total – winning herself and Chinese Taipei their first Olympic gold medal in weightlifting. Trailing behind on the podium was the Philipines competitor Hidilyn Diaz, who totaled 200kg to earn silver, the country’s first medal. In third place, Yoon Jin Hee nabs the Bronze with a total weight of 199kg. Great stuff from all the ladies in the division.
Overall, an action packed and exciting start to the weightlifting this summer – if it continues, we’ll be in for a great summer of Olympic weightlifting.