Very few elite strength athletes are as decorated as China’s top 77kg weightlifter, Lu Xiaojun. He’s a world record holder, an Olympic champion, and has won multiple World Championships. It’s exciting news to hear that he will continue to train and doesn’t have an expiration date for doing so.
The video below (in Chinese) covers Xiaojun’s return to winter training and briefly touches upon his future plans. From the comments section below the video, someone translated parts of the interview Xiaojun had with the reporter.
He states, “he fights for Tokyo 2020,” which doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily be competing, but it’s a driving factor behind his current training motivation. He also talks about how much he owes his wife, as she’s raised their daughter primarily by herself thus far. By the 2020 Olympics she would be six years old. He then says, he’s spoke with his wife and they both agree that he shouldn’t waste his abilities while his country still needs him.
His short term goals are to win the Chinese national games in September, 2017. Xiaojun then concludes he’ll continue to train as long as his body lets him, or a worthy successor comes along that he can pass the torch to.
By the 2020 Olympics Xiaojun would be 36 years old, which would make him one of the older weightlifters to compete at that level of competition. Currently he holds the world record for the snatch (177kg) and total (380kg) for the 77kg weight class. He took gold in the 2012 London games and silver in the 2016 Rio games.
It will be interesting to see how China’s possible 1-year ban from international competition impacts Xiaojun’s future plans. Hopefully the ban doesn’t influence him to an earlier retirement than he plans or had planned.
One has to ask the question though, how much further can he push his body and strength?
Feature image from wlift84 YouTube channel.