Chinese weightlifter Liao Hui appears to be crushing his training without missing a beat. In December 2016, Hui made a return to training – after a shocking pre-Rio retirement announcement – with dreams of making the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Hui is the current senior record holder in the men’s 69kg weight class for the snatch, clean & jerk, and total. His current records stand at a 166kg snatch, 198kg clean & jerk, and a 359kg total.
A month ago, Chinese coach and prolific Instagram poster Yang Yang shared a video that highlighted Liao Hui with an incredibly easy 150kg snatch. This weight is 16kg under Hui’s world record, so it’s relatively light for what he can do, but the speed and ease of the lift make it so impressive.
Last year Hui’s retirement came as a shock to some as he’s one of the more decorated athletes in the sport of weightlifting. He won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is a three time world champion.
Hui’s younger successor, 23-year old Shi Zhiyong, who filled China’s 69kg weight class spot last year took first in Rio with a 352kg total (1kg over second). Not representing China at last year’s Olympics could be the fire Hui needs to continue his training at the rate he is.
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A week ago Yang Yang shared another photo of Liao Hui in back squat rack position in training. The photo caption says, “The comeback of Liao Hui. The next Olympic Games, you is still strong.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be the year of Hui’s 33rd birthday, which will put him on the older side of competitors. If he stays healthy and continues to put up big weight in training, then it will be interesting to see who China chooses to represent them.
In addition to Hui’s comeback to training, Lu Xiaojun also made the announcement to continue training this past January. Xiaojun is a 77kg 2012 Olympic gold medalist and took silver last year in Rio.
Keep in mind that China is facing a probable 1-year ban from international competition for consecutively testing positive for anti-doping.
Feature image from @yangyan7878 Instagram page.