Team China seems to have a bottomless pit of world-class weightlifters at their disposal. On Sept. 1, 2021, Lu Xiaojun Barbell posted a video on Instagram showcasing 81-kilogram weightlifter Lu Delin snatching 190 kilograms (418.8 pounds) from blocks in the training hall.
To contextualize this lift, the winning snatch at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the Men’s 81-kilogram category was 170 kilograms (374.7 pounds), done by longstanding frontman for the Chinese roster Lu Xiaojun.
The gold-medal snatch from the 96-kilogram class? 177 kilograms (390.2 pounds) from Fares Ibrahim El-Bakh (also known as Meso Hassona). Delin’s training lift, even as a variation of the competition snatch, is only three kilograms below the winning snatch in the 109-kilogram category in Tokyo, from Uzbekistan’s Akbar Djuraev. You can catch the video of the lift below:
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While massive lifts out of the Team China training hall are nothing new, a snatch with this much weight from an 81-kilogram athlete is a cut above what is usually publicized. At only 23 years old, Delin seems poised to threaten teammates Lu Xiaojun and Li Dayin at the 2021 Chinese National Games.
A New Snatch Specialist?
Although Delin hit this 190-kilogram lift with the assistance of lifting straps and from blocks, he’s no slouch off the floor. He won the gold medal in the snatch at the 2019 Chinese National Championships where he lifted 164 kilograms (361.5 pounds). He’s also matched the world record in his weight class in training by snatching 175 kilograms (385 pounds).
This lift firmly places Delin among a group of “snatch specialists” in the middle-to-light-heavyweight categories who have hit some mind-boggling numbers in the movement.
Artem Okulov (RUS) — 190KG Hang Snatch
Artem Okulov, the 2015 World Champion in the now-defunct Men’s 85-kilogram category was known for lifting some extremely high snatches in the gym, including this massive 190-kilogram lift from the hang position.
Andrei Rybakou (RUS) — 187KG Competition Snatch
Rybakou is known for setting one of the most untouchable records of all time. At the 2007 World Weightlifting Championships in Thailand, he snatched 187 kilograms (412.2 pounds) in the 85-kilogram category, a record that stood untouched until the class was dissolved in 2018.
Post-reorganization, no lifter in the world has bested Rybakou’s lift — not in the 81, 89, 0r even 96-kilogram classes. Iran’s Sohrab Moradi is close, with a current world record of 186 kilograms in the Men’s 96-kilogram class (Moradi, however, did snatch 188 kilograms in 2017 as a 94-kilogram lifter).
Alexey Kosov (RUS) — 187KG Competition Snatch
At the 2015 Russian National Championships, Alexey Kosov snatched 187 kilograms while competing as a 94-kilogram athlete. At the time, it was only one kilogram shy of a very long-standing record held by Kakhi Kakhiashvili, set in 1999.
Kosov was considered both extremely promising and a true snatch specialist, since at this same competition he “only” managed a clean & jerk of 197 kilograms (434.3 pounds) — a 10-kilogram spread between the snatch and clean & jerk is rare at such a high level. Kosov hasn’t made a major international appearance since 2015.
Delin’s Future in Weightlifting
As of now, it is unclear whether Lu Delin is setting himself up to succeed colleague Xiaojun in the highly competitive 81-kilogram category. If this gym lift is an indication of his desire to step into the limelight, he’ll have his opportunity in September at the 2021 National Games.
The National Games will also feature 96-kilogram lifter Tian Tao, who recently announced an extended “holiday” from weightlifting following the National Games after missing the Chinese roster for the Tokyo Olympics. The Chinese National Games commence on Sept. 15, 2021, and run until Sept. 27, 2021.
Featured Image: @luxiaojunbarbell on Instagram