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Asian Weightlifting Championship 2024: Team China Announces Withdrawal from the Competition

Team China is one of the best and most dominant teams in the sport of weightlifting, so it’s shocking that they have decided to abandon one of the two remaining qualifications for the Paris Olympic Games by withdrawing from this year’s Asian Championship. The competition this year will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and it’s expected to start on February 3rd and end on February 10th. It’s one of the last remaining \competitions that athletes can go to in order to qualify for the Olympic Games later on in the summer. 

Even though Team China already has many high-performing athletes and will likely send the strongest team out for the Olympics, withdrawing from a continental competition can negatively affect their placing on the leaderboards and have an impact on which athletes will be allowed to compete in Paris.

Clean Performing by China Athlet

What This Means for the Competition?

During last year’s Asian Championship, China won more gold medals than any other nation (including the host South Korea), and they have also been the top-performing weightlifting country at the Olympic Games this century.

Their absence from the competition in Uzbekistan will allow other nations to dominate and win a few more medals, and it’s highly likely that countries like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will be there to fill the gaps left by China. 

Along with that, considering the fact that China leads all women’s Games weight classes and three of the men’s, their withdrawal will give a chance to other athletes from the Asia region to climb the  top 10 leaderboard and get a chance to qualify for the Games in Paris.

Who Benefits from This Withdrawal?

On the women’s side, China’s absence from the competition is unlikely to lead to any major changes in the leaderboard as China’s women lead their nearest challengers with nearly 74 kg altogether. On the men’s side, however, things are not looking as if they are set in stone. 

Team China is allowed to send only three male and three female athletes to the games in Paris. Currently, Li Fabin in the 61 kg category and Liu Hunhua in the 102 kg are their strongest contenders. In the 89 kg category, Tian Tao and Li Dayin are likely to have to battle for the last spot, but they will have to face some difficult competition from other great athletes, such as: 

  • Karlos Nasar (Bulgaria) – World Record Holder for the Clean & Jerk
  • Keydomar Vallenilla-Sanchez (Venezuela) – Silver Medalist from the Tokyo Olympic Games
  • Yeison Lopez (Columbia) – Junior & Youth World Champion
  • Antonino Pizzolato (Italy) –  European Champion and former World Record Holder 

All of these lifters have a shot at reaching the top of the 89-kilo leaderboard in the next few months, so it will be interesting to see how China’s withdrawal affects the leaderboard. 

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For Shi Zhiyong, the two-time Olympic Champion, the next few months will also be an uphill battle. He had an ongoing back injury that had him out of competition for more than 2 years, and his latest performance at the IWF Grand Prix II was 24 kg below his best, and he had to withdraw from his last two attempts on the Clean & Jerk due to pain.

As it currently stands, Shi Zhiyong will not only have a shot at winning a gold medal at the last qualifier but also must convince Team China to pick him over someone from the 89 kg division. 

As you can see, there are changes in the world of weightlifting happening daily, and to keep up with all of them, you would do well to follow our blog. Of course, if you’d like to stay in touch even more, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on social media

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Tanya Shaiko

Author: Tanya Shaiko
News Editor, Olympic Lifting Enthusiast

Oly Lifting Experience: 6 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 61 kg,
C&J – 78 kg

I’m Tanya, and I just can’t do without fitness. About six years ago, I got into Olympic weightlifting and instantly fell in love with it. Weightlifting is like no other sport – it’s just you versus the bar. Driven by my unwavering passion for an active lifestyle, I’ve been eager to share my personal journey and sports enthusiasm with others. As a journalist and photographer, my interests come full circle, adding an extra dimension to the news column that I curate. This way, I keep my readers updated with the latest happenings in the sports world.

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