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Chinese-born weightlifter leaves Kazakh nationality behind


10:57, October 26, 2012

Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo poses with her gold medal of the women's 53Kg weightlifting competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 29, 2012. (Souce: Chinadaily/Agencies)

Chinese-born weightlifter Zulfiya Chinshanlo who won an Olympic gold medal for Kazakhstan in London has returned to China in an attempt to represent her motherland in future Games.

Chinshanlo, who was born and raised in Yongzhou, Hunan province under the Chinese name Zhao Changling, was on loan from the Hunan provincial weightlifting team to Kazakhstan in 2008 with permission to compete in all international competitions.

As the loan period expired last month, the 19-year-old girl returned to her hometown and applied for a 2nd-generation ID card, under her original Chinese name, in Hunan's capital city Changsha this week.

"It's my dream to win an Olympic gold medal for China," Chinashanlo told reporters after returning home.

But Li Hao, a vice secretary general of the Chinese Weightlifting Association, said that whether Zhao Changling is eligible or not to compete for China in future depends on her nationality.

"Regarding Zhao's nationality issue, we are waiting for a replay from the Hunan Provincal Sports Bureau which has handled the loan affair," Li told Xinhua on Thursday.

An official at the Hunan Provincial Sports Bureau said that Zhao will go to Kazakhstan's embassy in Beijing soon to abandon her Kazakhstan citizenship, as China does not allow dual nationality.

The International Olympic Committee requires athletes who are switching national teams to wait at least three years after representing their former team before competing in the Games. The waiting period can be shortened or waived with permission from the International Sports Federation and the National Olympic Committee concerned.

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