Tian Tao is an exciting lifter to watch, but sometimes, he’s too exciting. He’s young (just 22) and immensely strong, but his performances on the international stage are inconsistent. He won gold in the snatch at the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships in Houston, then bombed out in the clean & jerk portion after three missed squat jerks.
In Rio, he only made two out of six attempts in heart-stopping, do-or-die fashion — he missed his first two attempts in each lift before securing his final snatch and clean & jerk, good for silver behind Iran’s Kianoush Rostami.
He’s clearly very, very strong and capable of cleaning just about anything loaded on a bar, it seems. Now, a grainy training video — originally posted by All Things Gym on Instagram — shows the 85kg lifter making a buttery-looking clean at 230kg. For reference, that’s 10kg above the clean & jerk world record in the weight class, set by Rostami at the Fajr Cup in May 2016.
He then proceeds to miss his squat jerk behind, taking an also-impressive leap forward to get out of the way as 507 pounds comes crashing down from above.
Watch it for yourself:
The question: Has Tian Tao ever encountered a weight he can’t clean?
Featured image: @atginsta on Instagram