Two days into the events of the 15th Asian Games held in Doha, weightlifting athletes display excellence at the highest level. Among the 35 nations of the continent that have sent their participants to Qatar the Chinese are leaving no doubt of their pre-eminence in both genders.
Santo Domingo?s world champions, Li Zheng (56kg) and Qiu Le (62kg) won their respective categories but with a much stronger total than what they had reached two months earlier. In the men?s 69kg two Chinese Olympic champions of Athens fought for the Asian title: Zhang Guozheng and Shi Zhiyong (earlier in 62kg). Their duel resulted in a gold medal for Shi in snatch (155kg) and two titles (jerk 184kg and total 336kg) for Zhang. The bronze-medal winner made 28kg less than Shi (335kg).
In the women?s 48kg 9-fold world champion Wang Mingjuan was supreme with a comfortable 206kg total.
In the 53kg category, Li Ping (CHN) and Kuntatean Junpim (THA) made an almost perfect replay of their duel from one year ago, i.e. the 2005 World Championships, also held in Doha. Li Ping once again emerged victorious with 224kg, against Kuntatean?s 221kg (223kg last year).
However, the beautiful weightlifting venue, the Al-Dana Banquet Hall saw the so far best performance on 3rd December in the 58kg women?s class. Olympic champion Chen Yanqing (CHN) astounded the spectators with incredible lifts, breaking 5 world records and ending in 111kg snatch, 140kg clean and jerk and 251kg total. She outshone the rest of the contenders, among them silver medallist Kameaim Wandee (THA) and Pak Hyon Suk (PRK) who tied at 224kg each.
Asian Games results can be followed at: http://www.doha-2006.com
Chen Yanqing – CHN