China steals the show

Jei Xiaomei of China, who won gold in the 48-kg category for women in the Afro-Asian Games on Sunday. — Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

Jei Xiaomei of China, who won gold in the 48-kg category for women in the Afro-Asian Games on Sunday. — Photo: P.V. Sivakumar  

Hyderabad Oct. 26. Asian superpower China picked up both the golds which were up for grabs on the second day of the weightlifting competitions of the first Afro-Asian Games at the indoor stadium in Yousufguda here on Sunday.

In the men's section Chen Chufu of China came up with a superb display to lift the gold in the 69-kg category while in the distaff side Jei Xiaomei gave China its second gold of the day, winning the 48-kg category.

Chen Chufu took 140-kg as his first attempt in the snatch. This starting weight itself was higher than the maximum that the rest of the field had come up with. Till then India's Sudhir Kumar was leading with 135-kg. But when Chen Chufu failed in his first two attempts he was clearly under pressure and one could see tension building in the Chinese camp. But the 24-year-old Chinese lifter showed his class when it mattered most as he easily lifted the barbell with his third attempt to take the top spot in the snatch.

In clean and jerk, Chen Chufu was in his element. He started with 165-kg without any difficulty, then took up 175-kg and hoisted the barbell overhead with equal dexterity and strength but then failed with 180-kg. However his best of 175-kg was enough to give him the gold.

India's Sudhir Kumar took second place in snatch, with a best of 135-kg and Suphalak Sithisak of Thailand was third with 130-kg. But the Thai scored over Sudhir Kumar in the clean and jerk by going through all his three lifts successfully, beginning at 155-kg and ending at 162.5-kg.

Sudhir Kumar on the other hand fell back as he was successful with 155-kg in his first attempt but failed to lift 160-kg on his next two efforts.

This gave Sithisak the silver and Sudhir Kumar had to be content with bronze. Sudhir Kumar who is a native of Karnataka trains at the SAI centre in Bangalore and is an employee of the Indian Navy. He said that an old injury prevented him from doing better in this meet but his next aim was to qualify for the Olympic Games.

In the women's event China's Jie Xiaomei took the top spot, her level of strength and technique miles ahead of the competition. With a snatch of 82.5-kg and jerk of 105-kg, she totalled 187.5-kg which was 12.5-kg more than the second placed Joke Adekola of Nigeria. India's Sandhya Rani took the bronze with a total of 157.5-kg.

The results:

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

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

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