Weightlifter Hou Zhihui (49KG) Sets 97KG Snatch World Record at 2024 IWF World Cup

Team China is in top form. With only a few short months until the 2024 Paris Olympics, the most dominant weightlifting team in the world — thanks to athletes like 49-kilogram Hou Zhihui — is putting on a show at the 2024 IWF World Cup.

Zhihui set a new world record in the snatch of 97 kilograms, or 213.8 pounds, on Apr. 1, 2024, on the second day of competition in Phuket, Thailand.

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Zhihui confirmed her ticket to Paris with a stellar performance in Phuket. Here’s a breakdown of her best lifts:

Snatch: 97KG | World Record

Clean & Jerk: 120KG

Total: 217KG

The 49-kilogram 2020 Olympic Champion made a truly enormous jump from her 113-kilogram first attempt to set a career best in the clean & jerk. However, Zhihui placed second overall at the Cup behind North Korean athlete Ri Song Gum. Gum set a world record in the Total with 221 kilograms.

[Related: Why Can’t North Korea Compete in Weightlifting at the 2024 Olympics?]

China vs. China

For weightlifters in most countries, the pathway to the Paris Olympics involves breaking into the top 10 on the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) ranking leaderboards. But for Zhihui and other Chinese weightlifters, the real competition lies within the team itself.

China, like every other country, may only send three female athletes (and three males) to compete in the five Paris-recognized weight classes. For the majority of the 18-month qualification period, Zhihui has narrowly trailed behind teammate Jiang Huihua.

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Here’s an illustration of the two Chinese womens’ Totals across a number of major events throughout the qualification period:

2022 World Championships: Huihua 206, Zhihui 198

2023 Asian Championships: Huihua 207, Zhihui 204

2023 World Championships: Huihua 215, Zhihui 211

2023 IWF Grand Prix II: Huihua 216, Zhihui 209

The Women’s 49-kilogram event at the World Cup was, quite literally, Zhihui’s final attempt. Her phenomenal snatching, along with an exceptionally gutsy performance with the barbell during the clean & jerks, will deliver Zhihui to, likely, her second Olympic gold medal.

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Featured Image: @atginsta on Instagram

The post Weightlifter Hou Zhihui (49KG) Sets 97KG Snatch World Record at 2024 IWF World Cup appeared first on BarBend.


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