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Tian Tao Interview – After the Asian Games, During Recovery Period

Today, we’re going behind the scenes of a weightlifting champion, Tian Tao. This time, it’s not just about the medals and triumphs, we’re going to shed light on a tough recovery period after a serious shoulder injury.

We’re going to follow his story, from surgery to getting back into lifting shape.

Now, let’s get into the story.

Beyond the Weights: Tian Tao’s Resilience to Return on the Podium from Shoulder Surgery


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After winning at the Asian Games, Tian Tao faced a new challenge – surgery for a nagging shoulder issue. The big question appeared on everyone’s mind: will he ever lift again and compete in the Olympics?

Tian Tao Recovery
  • You had shoulder surgery two weeks ago. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

“Most of my injuries are from my young years of training. But during the Asian Games, it was a tendon break in my shoulder joint. After this issue, I was not able to do any overhead movement including lockout. So it was the only way to solve this problem – surgery.”

He didn’t compete in Qatar. But Tao worked hard on his rehabilitation, showing that he’s not giving up on his sports dreams. He was training every single day in the training hall. So, his routine consisted of rehabilitation with physiotherapeutic massage and stretching. 

It included lightweight front and side raises, specific light stretching, and rotational movements for the shoulder rotator cuff mobility, shoulder blade stabilization drills, and some bodybuilding exercises with an empty bar and 10 kg plate for the upper: presses, upright rows, and french presses.

  • You’re working a lot on the rehabilitation process, doing lots of exercises for strengthening shoulder blades. When can you return to Sntach, Clean & Jerk? Because now only pulls and squats.

“It should be in a month after surgery. I tried some light weights to do overhead movements, but still there is some pain and discomfort.”

  • Share your opinion about yesterday’s performance of the 89-kg category.

“I was watching it from the audience side, this new World record is a real motivation for me. Yes, I realize that competition will be very hard, but I want it and will go for it. I want to beat Karlos Nasar’s record.”

  • What is your favorite movement – Snatch or Clean & Jerk?

“As you can see my strong exercise is Clean and Jerk, Snatch is my weakness”.

  • Any technical mistakes in Snatch the coach always pays attention to?

“The coach tells me to build up a stronger back, namely upper back, traps.”

Tian Tao
  • Who is the most dangerous opponent for you – Li Dayin, or Karlos Nasar?

“Actually my biggest rival now is my injury. I am not afraid of anyone. I feel confident to beat them, but my old injuries are my limiting factor. 

The terms of Olympic qualification are going by so fast. But with such a serious and strict approach and motivation to recover and return to training shape, the obvious question would be whether we should expect Tao`s comeback on the international platform.

  • What about the Olympic Games? Are there any chances to qualify for the Paris Games? Because you’ll be already 33 in four years when the next Olympics will take place in Los Angeles.

“Will see next April in Thailand, at the World Cup in Thailand. If I will not show numbers there and will not beat Li Dayin, my next job will be a full-time fisherman.”

  • What are you dreaming about? Just one dream.

“I have many dreams in the last period. But the main one is shoulder recovery.”

Tian Tao


Despite the injury and long rehab period, Tao reflects on his unwavering resolve and dedication. His mission to return stronger, to lift not just the weights but the spirits of all who follow him, is a testament to the heart of a true champion.

Follow our blog, like the videos, subscribe to Torokhtiy Media, and become a part of the community that celebrates strength, perseverance, and the incredible journey of athletes like Tian Tao.

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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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