Hou Zhihui of China Wins Women’s Weightlifting 49KG Session at 2020 Olympic Games

Hou Zhihui of China wins gold and claims three Olympic records.

The first weight category to compete at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was the Women’s 49-kilogram weight class. Group B competed on Friday, July 23rd, 2021, at 8:50 p.m. EST and Group A competed on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 12:50 a.m. EST.

Women’s 49-Kilogram Results

  1. Hou Zhihui (China) — 210 (94/116) — Gold Medal
  2. Chanu Saikhom Mirabai (India) — 202 (87/115) — Silver Medal
  3. Windy Cantika Aisah (Indonesia) — 194 (84/110) — Bronze Medal
  4. Wan-Ling Fang (Chinese Taipei) — 181 (80/101)
  5. Nina Sterckx (Belgium) — 180 (81/99)
  6. Anais Michel (France) — 177 (78/99)
  7. Ludia Marguiela Montero Ramos (Cuba)— 178 (82/96)
  8. Beatriz Elizabeth Piron Candelario (Dominican Republic) — 176 (81/95)
  9. Nathasha Rosa Figueiredo (Brazil) — 173 (78/95)
  10. Loa Dika Toua (Papua New Guinea) — 167 (72/95)
  11. Marie Hanitra Roilya Ranaivosoa (Mauritius) — 164 (73/91)
  12. Jourdan Delacruz (USA) — Did Not Finish
  13. Hiromi Miyake (Japan) — Did Not Finish
  14. Kristina Ivanovna Sobol (Republic of China) — Did Not Finish

Note: the above stats are structured as — Total (Snatch/Clean & Jerk)

Hou Zhihui Team China Weightlifting
Photo by Stephen Galvan for the IWF

[Related: The Full 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Weightlifting Roster]

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games — Women’s 49KG

Here are the fourteen athletes in the Women’s 49-kilogram category who competed in Tokyo:

49-Kilogram Roster

Group A

  • Nina Sterckx — Belgium
  • Hou Zhihui — China
  • Anais Michel — France
  • Windy Cantika Aisah — Indonesia
  • Chanu Saikhom Mirabai — India
  • Hiromi Miyake — Japan
  • Wan-Ling Fang — Chinese Taipei
  • Jourdan Delacruz — USA

Group B

  • Nathasha Rosa Figueiredo —Brazil
  • Loa Dika Toua — Papua New Guinea
  • Marie Hanitra Roilya Ranaivosoa — Mauritius
  • Beatriz Elizabeth Piron Candelario —Dominican Republic
  • Kristina Ivanovna Sobol — Republic of China
  • Ludia Marguiela Montero Ramos — Cuba

Heading into the event, the only medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was Miyake, who won bronze in the 48-kilogram class (new weightlifting categories were approved by the IWF in 2018). Zhihui entered the competition as the world recorder holder in the snatch and total. Mirabai held the world record clean & jerk. All three records were scored at the rescheduled 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships. They were the following:

49-Kilogram World Records

  • Snatch — Hou Zhihui, 96 kilograms (211.6 pounds)
  • Clean & Jerk — Saikhom Mirabai Chanu119 kilograms (262.4 pounds)
  • Total — Zhihui Hou, 213 kilograms (469.6 pounds)

At the conclusion of Group B, Montero Ramos was at the top of the standings with a 178-kilogram total — just two kilograms than Piron Candelario. Sobol was the only athlete in Group B unable to post a total after failing to successfully hit a snatch attempt. Notably, her opening snatch attempt was 80 kilograms. Only Montero Ramos and Piron Candelario snatched more than 80-kilograms — their top snatches were 82 kilograms and 81 kilograms, respectively.

In Group A, Delacruz made an early move and upped her opening attempt from 80 kilograms up to 83 kilograms and hit it. Her second attempt of 86 kilograms was successful. Her final attempt of 89 kilograms was locked out over head, but the judges ruled it a no lift — he left elbow bent just enough that they ruled it a press out.

Sterckx and Cantika Asiah both appeared to struggle, each scoring only one of their three snatch attempts. Hou Zhihui was the only lifter to lower her opening snatch attempt — 91 kilograms down to 88 kilograms. She upped it to 92 kilograms on her second attempt to set a new Olympic record. She bested that on her third attempt of 94 kilograms.

In the clean & jerk, Delacruz was unable to hit 108 kilograms on all three attempts and failed to total. Hou notched 114 kilograms on her second attempt to force Mirabai to have to beat her world record of 119 kilograms in order to potentially claim gold. However, Mirabai was too far behind and went for 117 kilograms in her final clean & jerk attempt but missed.

[Related: New ITA Report Reveals Doping Violations, Corruption, and Cover-Ups in Weightlifting]

The Games Continue

The next two sessions will feature the Men’s 61-kilogram and Men’s 67-kilogram categories. Group B’s for both categories begin at 10:50 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 24, 2021. Group A for the Men’s 61-kilogram category is scheduled for 2:50 a.m EST on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Group A for the Men’s 67-kilogram category is scheduled for 6:50 a.m. EST.

Feature image: Stephen Galvan for the IWF