Chinese domination

ABHIJIT SEN GUPTA

Sun Dan (middle) of China, who broke the world record in the +75 kg category, is flanked by the silver medallist Balkisu Musa (left) of Nigeria and India's Geeta Rani, the bronze medal winner. — Pic. P. V. SIVAKUMAR-

THE weightlifting championships of the Afro-Asian Games saw some world-class performances, particularly from the Chinese lifters, who dominated the proceedings, especially in the women's section, where they swept the golds in all the seven categories. In the men's competition China added two more to finish with a rich haul of nine gold medals.

The most outstanding lifter was of course the massively built 20-year-old Sun Dan, who broke the world record in the women's above 75 kg category on the concluding day of the event. Sun Dan, who does not speak English except for saying "Thank You", managed to convey to the media through an interpreter that she had prepared hard for the championship and was quite confident of being able to break the existing world record of 168 kg in jerk. She said she was happy that she had been able to achieve her target.

The women's plus 75 kg was the last event of the championship. On two earlier occasions the world record had come under threat by Chinese lifters and eventually it happened on the last day.

China's Wang Li took the gold in the women's 58 kg category. -- Pic. P. V. SIVAKUMAR-

Sun Dan entered the jerk with the bar loaded at 130 kg. By then, the other lifters had done their best and were gone. So, when she successfully lifted 130 kg, and had pocketed the gold, she decided to try and break the world record and asked for 168.5 kg to be loaded on the bar.

A hush descended on the hall as it was announced that Sun Dan would be going for the world record. The crowd waited expectantly as she walked onto the stage and after a brief moment of concentration, with her eyes closed, she bent down to grip the bar. Then, with a mighty heave she lifted the bar to her shoulders and stood up, took a few deep breaths and hoisted the weight overhead without much difficulty.

Immediately, the spectators broke into a spontaneous and loud applause for it was a historic occasion as they had just witnessed the creation of a new world record — a feat never before accomplished on Hyderabad soil and one, which would be a landmark of the Afro-Asian Games. The previous record stood in the name of Tang Gonghong, also of China, set in September 2003.

The other country to do well was Nigeria with four golds in the men's section, while the Iranian men also did well in the heavier weight categories. On the final day, two Iranians, 20-year-old Mohammed Selehi and 19-year-old Rashid Sharifi, gave their country a gold and a silver respectively in the men's over 105 kg competition.

In the men's 77 kg category, Sateesha Rai of India narrowly lost the gold on bodyweight to Dare Alabi of Nigeria. Both totalled 322.5 kg, but since his bodyweight was more, Rai had to be content with the silver.

The results: Men:

Iran's Mohammed Salehi is ecstatic after winning the gold in the men's + 105 kg event. -- Pic. P. V. SIVAKUMAR-

56 kg: 1. Gbenga Olupona (Ngr) 107.5 + 140 = 247.5; 2. V. Srinivasa Rao (Ind) 105 + 135 = 240; 3. Tsai Sheng Feng (Tpe) 90 + 120 = 210.

62 kg: 1. Eitene Abasi Ernest Akwa (Ngr) 120 + 155 = 275; 2. Ronnayath Amnoiwong (Tha) 115 + 142.5 = 257.5; 3. Chandandeep Singh (Ind) 110 + 145 = 255.

69 kg: 1. Chen Chufu (Chn) 140 + 175 = 315; 2. Suphalak Sithisak (Tha) 130 + 162.5 = 292.5; 3. C. P. R. Sudhir Kumar (Ind) 135 + 155 = 290.

77 kg: 1. Dare Alabi (Ngr) 137.5 + 185 = 322.5; 2. Satheesha Rai (Ind) 145 + 177.5 = 322.5; 3. Ali Eshtiwi Mohammed (Lib) 135 + 167.5 = 302.5.

85 kg: 1. Jacob Edward (Ngr) 150 + 195 = 345; 2. Shahrouz Ghorbani (Irn) 157.5 + 185 = 342.5; 2. Khalmatov Akramzhan (Kaz) 145 + 190 = 335.

94 kg: 1. Ali Dehghaniyan (Irn) 142.5 + 190 = 332.5; 2. Omid Noidj (Irn) 150 + 180 = 330; 3. Sedov Sergey (Kaz) 152.5 + 177.5 = 330.

105 kg: 1. Cui Wenhua (Chn) 180 + 185 = 365; 2. Nomofilov Dmitry (Kaz) 147.5 + 195 = 342.5; 3. Abdolreza Fouldivan (Irn) 155 + 187.5 = 342.5.

Over 105 kg: 1. Mohammed Selehi (Irn) 165 + 207.5 = 372.5; 2. Rashid Sharifi (Irn) 170 + 200 = 370; 3. Mike Eanamson (Ngr) 150 + 210 = 360.

Women:

Jacob Edward bagged one of Nigeria's four gold medals in the men's section. He triumphed in the 85 kg category. -- Pic. P. V. SIVAKUMAR-

48 kg: 1. Jei Xiaomei (Chn) 82.5 + 105 = 187.5; 2. Joke Adekola (Ngr) 72.5 + 92.5 = 165; 3. Sandhya Rani (Ind) 70 + 87.5 = 157.5.

53 kg: 1. Lu Meiqin (Chn) 85 + 115 = 200; 2. Sonia Chanu (Ind) 77.5 + 100 = 177.5; 3. Prudence Laval (Ngr) 72.5 + 95 = 167.5.

58 kg: 1. Wang Li (Chn) 105 + 122.5 = 227.5; 2. Franca Gbodo (Ngr) 95 + 117.5 = 212.5; 3. Lin Tsuling (Tpe) 87.5 + 110 = 197.5.

63 kg: 1. Den Huijie Chn) 102.5 + 130 = 232.5; 2. Anike Audaji (Ngr) 90 + 120 = 210; 3. P. Harika (Ind) 87.5 + 107.5 = 195.

69 kg: 1. Cao Lei (Chn) 100 + 140 = 240; 2. Therlemont Janet (Sey) 95 + 115 = 210; 3. Nansita Devi (Ind) 85 + 110 = 195.

75 kg: Yang Houquin (Chn) 107.5 + 135 = 242.5; 2. Ijeoma Nwatu (NGR) 100 + 122.5 = 222.5; 3. Sumati Devi (Ind) 97.5 + 120 = 217.5.

Over 75 kg: 1. Sun Dan (Chn) 110 + 168.5 (WR) (OR 168 by Tang Gonghong, Chn) = 278.5; 2. Balkisu Musa (Ngr) 110 + 125 = 225; 3. Geeta Rani (Ind) 97.5 + 125 = 222.5.