The 2017 Chinese National Games are underway, and competition — held once every four years — is often called “the Olympics of China.” It’s a multi-sport event that features the countries top athletes, and weightlifting is no exception.
So far, we’ve seen some truly outstanding performances by the Chinese women, and the men’s portion of the competition is already off to a great start after a heated battle in the 69kg category between two Olympic Champions.
The men’s 85kg session wasn’t so close, and Olympic silver medalist Tian Tao had overall gold locked up after a successful clean & jerk opener at 230kg.
Tao, who has cleaned as much as 230kg in training, is known for his prodigious leg strength. So it wasn’t too much of a surprise that he decided to take a crack at breaking his own Chinese National Record in the clean & jerk, which currently stands at 221kg. (For reference, that’s 1kg over the World Record at 220kg, held by Iran’s Kianoush Rostami.)
Check out Tao’s two impressive attempts below. (Click on the arrows on the side of the frame to toggle back and forth between the two.)
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23 year old Tian Tao (85kg 🇨🇳) Cleaning 223kg (3kg above world record)! After a 205kg Power Jerk (gold medal), he gave 222kg and 223kg a shot to beat his own national record (221kg). Swipe to watch all 3 attempts. Tian has cleaned as much as 230kg in training. #squatjerk #powerjerk #223kg #222kg #205kg #🇨🇳 #fearless #cleanandjerk
Yep, that’s TWO attempts over the current World Record in the same competition.
Tao’s older Chinese record lives another day, but judging from the strength of those cleans, it’s only a matter of time before the 23 year-old breaks through his own PRs on stage. However, whether or not we’ll see Chinese lifters at this year’s World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim remains to be seen; the Chinese Weightlifting Federation is facing a potential ban after positive doping retests from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The International Weightlifting Federation has yet to publicly issue their final decision on the matter.
Featured image: @atginsta on Instagram