Rio Silver Medalist Tian Tao Cleans 230kg

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:

A video posted by All Things Gym (@atginsta) on

The question: Has Tian Tao ever encountered a weight he can’clean?

Featured image: @atginsta on Instagram

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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