Thu, 23 Sep 2021

© Provided by Xinhua

Chinese weightlifter Shi Zhiyong claimed gold in the men's 73kg category at Tokyo 2020 with a new world record of 364kg.

TOKYO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese weightlifter Shi Zhiyong won his second Olympic gold medal with a world record-breaking performance in the men's 73kg category at Tokyo 2020 here on Wednesday.

A late challenge by his closest opponent, Julio Ruben Mayora Pernia of Venezuela, added some thrillers to the competition, but Shi left no chance by lifting 198kg that ties the world record in his third attempt in clean and jerk, setting a new world record in total of 364kg, winning by a margin of 18kg.

Beaming with joy, Shi sat on the dumbbell with a huge roar. "I only did that when I set a new world record," said Shi after the competition, "I have always aimed for the new record. Winning the gold medal alone won't satisfy me."

"I believe I have the ability to break the world record, it would be a great regret if I fail to achieve it," Shi said. "I trained very hard in the last five years, it would be a pity if I could not demonstrate the best of myself."

Holding all three world records in snatch, clean and jerk as well as in total, Shi's superiority was obvious from the outset as he conducted his first snatch attempt at 158kg - 2 kg above the best results of his nearest rival Mayora Pernia - and succeeded.

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Shi, the men's 69kg weightlifting gold medalist at Rio Olympics, then extended his lead and set an Olympic record of 166kg in the third snatch attempt.

The advantage allowed Shi to play it safe in the clean and jerk and succeeded in lifting 188 kg in his first attempt.

Mayora Pernia mounted a last-bit challenge by trying 199kg after Shi's second attempt of 192kg was ruled no lift by judges. But Shi went for 198kg in his third attempt. A new world record in total at 364kg was born when Shi lifted the dumbbell over his head, compared to his previous world record of 363kg.

Shi also revealed that he had suffered an injury a little more than one month from the Olympics and only resumed full training after arriving in Japan. "The snatch sections seemingly went well but I actually stained my arms as I haven't lifted such a weight after injury," he said.

But the two-time Olympic champion decided to go for the world record in his last attempt. "Before I got on the stage, I repeatedly told myself 'go all in and leave no regret', and I really don't remember how I did it."

Mayora Pernia won a silver medal for Venezuela with 346kg, and Rahmat Erwin Abdullah of Indonesia came up third with 342kg.

Shi was the third Chinese man to win gold at Tokyo 2020 following Chen Lijun's success in the 67kg category and Li Fabin's victory in the 61kg division.

China has now won four gold medals in weightlifting at the Games with Hou Zhihui winning the other in the women's 49kg class.

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