Weightlifter Li Dayin (89KG) Sets Snatch and Total World Records at 2023 Asian Weightlifting Championships

Team China has the Asian Weightlifting Championships in their grip.

Li Dayin may be the next big thing in Chinese men’s weightlifting. The 25-year-old powerhouse made a confident and commanding appearance in the 89-kilogram division at the 2023 Asian Weightlifting Championships (AWC) in Jinju, South Korea.

Dayin set two new World Records during his performance on May 10: He snatched 180 kilograms (396.8 pounds) and Totaled 396 kilograms (652.5 pounds). Dayin also hit a 216-kilogram, or 476.1-pound, clean & jerk to secure his second AWC title (2019).


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Each of Dayin’s new records is significant in its own way. His 180-kilogram snatch is primeval; it crushed the 179-kilogram World Standard set by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) when the 89-kilogram class was first established in 2018. No athlete in six years’ time had beaten it before Dayin.

His 396-kilogram Total also exceeded the former record set by Bulgarian sensation Karlos Nasar, who won the 2023 European Weightlifting Championships (EWC) in April with a 395-kilogram sum. 

Coming Up Big

It’s hard to make a name for yourself if you’re a weightlifter on Team China, but Dayin is doing a bang-up job so far. Formerly an 81-kilogram athlete (he’s the 2022 World Champion and holds the World Record in the snatch to this day), Dayin has opted to move up to the highly-competitive 89-kilogram class in a bid for the 2024 Olympics. His former category, 81 kilograms, will not be hosted in Paris, France.

Dayin’s 396-kilogram Total rocketed him up to the top of the IWF’s official leaderboard, the primary metric by which the organization will determine who is invited to compete at the ’24 Games. However, winning the 2023 AWC also bolsters a nearly-pristine pedigree:

Li Dayin | IWF Competitive History

  • 2022 World Weightlifting Championships: 1st place (81KG)
  • 2019 IWF World Cup: 1st place (81KG)
  • 49th Challenge 210: 1st place (89KG)
  • 2019 World Weightlifting Championships: 2nd place (81KG)
  • Tokyo 2020 Test Event: 1st place (81KG)
  • 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships: 1st place (81KG)
  • 2019 IWF World Cup: 1st place (81KG)
  • 2018 World Weightlifting Championships: 3rd place (81KG)

Other than his bronze-medal finish at 2018 Worlds, Dayin has bagged gold medals almost exclusively on the international stage. He finished 2nd by a single kilogram at Worlds in 2019 behind three-time Olympic Champion Lu Xiaojun.

With a resume of this caliber to his name, Dayin may one day have three Olympic titles of his own to brag about.

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