News Olympic Weightlifting QATAR 2023

Grand Prix II, Day 2 Recap – Women’s 49 kg: China and Korea reign, while Imperio and Delacruz far away from the podium

Day 2 of the Grand Prix II competition was expected to be thrilling as the first Olympic weight category was competing today. Women’s 49-kg division brought us both expected and unexpected results, while favorites did lag behind their stronger opponents.

Today we were spectating 10 weightlifters who were ready to compete to the highest standards set by their rivals. We had a World Record holder in the category, Ri Song Gum, in Clean & Jerk of 124 kg and Totals of 216 kg. Chinese Hou Zhihui is a holder of the Olympic record in Tokyo in Snatch of 94 kg, 116 kg – Clean & Jerk, and 211 kg Total. 

While other lifters are multiple-time world and continental champions who have several sets of medals under their belts. Keep your eyes watching this promising battle where every contender deserves to up the podium.

Hou Zhihui at Grand Prix II 2023
Hou Zhihui at Grand Prix II 2023


The performance in the Snatch exercise started from 77 kg.


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In the snatch, 71 % of all attempts were successful which is an above-average rate.

Top 3 Leaders’ Results

Now let’s analyze the Top 3 lifters’ performance:

  • 🥉 RI Song Gum  – 93 kg
  • 🥈 JIANG Huihua  – 96 kg
  • 🥇 HOU Zhihui  – 96 kg

The 3rd place was taken by Ri Song Gum with 93 kg who showed her determination to get to the podium today. She showed two successful lifts with the third ‘no lift’ of 95 kg. Still, her second attempt brought her bronze in Snatch.

Chinese Jiang Huihua lifted 96 kg on the third attempt which enabled her to become the second in the exercise.

Her teammate Hou Zhihui showed high focus by lifting the same 96 kg at the third attempt. It was a remarkable Snatch that brought her 1st place

Both Chinese athletes performed the same-weight attempts, but as Hou lifted first, she became a winner in this movement.

Snatch Recap

This round proved to us that not everything can run smoothly. The category’s favorites didn’t manage to cope with emotions and tense atmosphere at the competition or didn’t have enough strength to lift the ordered weight. There were some reasons for such outcomes.

The American Jourdan Delacruz ranked 5th because she failed her second and third attempts of 89 kg and 91 kg. So, her Snatch performance stopped at 86 kg.

Another promising lifter, Italian Giulia Imperio experienced the same scenario: she did only one successful lift, the first one – by 85 kilos, but bombed out on her second and third tries by lifting 87 kg. Eventually, Giulia finished 6th in the Snatch exercise.

Giulia Imperio at Grand Prix II 2023
Giulia Imperio at Grand Prix II 2023

Clean & Jerk

The contest in the Clean & Jerk discipline started with a weight of 100 kg.

  • 6 INAN Lovely – 104 kg
  • 5 ECHANDIA ZARATE Katherin Oriana – 106 kg
  • 4 ORTIZ Dahiana – 108 kg

46 % of all attempts in this exercise were successful which is a below-average rate.

Top 3 Leaders’ Results

Let’s describe the performance of the Top 3 lifters:

  • 🥉 HOU Zhihui – 113 kg
  • 🥈 JIANG Huihua  – 120 kg
  • 🥇 RI Song Gum – 120kg

Hou Zhihui took bronze with her lift of 113 kg she performed on the first try. In this movement, she wasn’t so confident by failing her next attempts to lift more.

Jiang Huihua succeeded in securing silver with solid 120 kg she did on the last try. She increased her weights gradually, so all three attempts were technically good.

Clean & Jerk winner became Ri Song Gum by lifting 120 kg at the second attempt. By the way, she failed her first and third attempts of 120 kg and 124 kg. But, fortunately, the fact that she lifted 120 kg first before her rival from China gave her a chance to secure the first spot.

Clean & Jerk Recap

Considering the statistics of the whole round, we can state that there were lots of unsuccessful lifts in the category. Even some leaders in the Snatch exercise didn’t manage to show impressive powerful jerks that ended up with two failed attempts. 

The situation repeated for the Italian team: Giulia Imperio lifted only 100 kilos on her first attempt and the next two were with red lights. It seemed she lacked the proper technique to perform better. What about Delacruz, she didn’t lift at all.

So, we can conclude that the Chinese and Korean teams are more technically strong and endurant which can be proved with their great lifts with at least of 5 kg gap between the bronze holder and the fourth place.

Hou Zhihui at Grand Prix II 2023
Hou Zhihui at Grand Prix II 2023

Total Results

  1. JIANG Huihua – 216 kg
  2. RI Song Gum – 213 kg
  3. HOU Zhihui – 209 kg
  4. RAMOS Rosegie – 191 kg
  5. ECHANDIA ZARATE Katherin Oriana – 190 kg
  6. ORTIZ Dahiana – 190 kg

So, the category leader became an athlete from China, Jiang Huihua who showed remarkable lifts resulting in 216 kg in total. She improved her total by 1 kilo since her performance at the Worlds in Riyadh where she set a World Record in 215 kg. In Clean & Jerk, she repeated her lifted weights in 120 kg which remains a current World Record.

The silver medalist became Ri Song Gum: she finished her performance with 213 kg. This tiny Korean lifter managed to improve her total result since 2022 at the Asian Games where she lifted 216 kg and won the gold medal.

Hou Zhihui was third today with a total of 209 kg which is 5 kg less than she did at the World Championships in Riyadh this year.

Final thoughts

Overall performance in the category showed us once more that despite popularity and audience interest our favorite athlete can be defeated by more technical and stronger lifters. To be honest Chinese athletes always show their ultimate preparation for the competitions showcasing their persistence and discipline. 

Due to their tough training regime, Chinese lifters prove that they’re good both at speed-oriented Snatches and strength-targeted Clean & Jerks. So, this competition day is not an exception.

Write in the comments below why Giulia Imperio showed such poor lifts and what hindered her concentration today. Keep on watching our videos tomorrow as we’re going to highlight the events in the Men’s 61 kg. Don’t miss it, no less intriguing things will happen tomorrow. Subscribe on our channel, and like our video! 

Stay strong and warm body cold mind!

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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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