The Olympic record for weightlifting in the 49kg class was broken thrice on Saturday in Tokyo, twice by gold medalist Hou Zhihui of China.
China has now won 15 gold medals in women’s Olympic weightlifting, 10 more than the next closest total of five, held by Thailand.
Hou set an Olympic record with a 114kg clean and jerk on her second attempt. India’s Mirabai Chanu Saikhom lifted 115kg to set a new standard, but Hou came right back with a 116kg lift on her third attempt. Saikhom could not get 117kg up on her final attempt.
Even that record wouldn’t have been enough to push Saikhom higher than silver, as Hou’s total of 210 pounds was superior to Saikhom’s 202 and bronze medalist Windy Cantika Aisah‘s 194.
Team USA lifter Jourdan Delacruz was third after the first round of lifts but finished off the podium and not without some drama.
The 23-year-old Texan thought she had lifted 89kg in the snatch and her team issued a challenge to the ruling but it was unsuccessful and she finished the round with the third-highest lift (86kg).
The clean and jerk was where it came apart for Delacruz. She missed her first jerk attempt of 108kg and her second attempt was also unsuccessful. Her third attempt did not make it to the clean.
Japan’s Hiromi Miyake entered the home tournament as a two-time Olympic medalist, winning silver in London and bronze in Rio, but could not complete a clean and jerk.
Wan Ling Fang finished fourth with 181 pounds lifted, while Belgian teenager Nina Sterckx‘s 180 was good for fifth, and Anais Michel of France sixth (177).
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