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National championships sound wake-up call for Chinese weightlifting team

(Xinhua)    11:43, October 22, 2020

CHANGSHA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The 2020 National Women's Weightlifting Championships and Tokyo Olympics simulation games recently ended in Shaoyang, central China's Hunan province.

Two of the powerful women had broken world records, and some weightlifters set multiple new national records during the competition. In addition, some fresh blood saw good results as well.

However, Zhang Guozheng, the coach of the Chinese women's weightlifting national team, told Xinhua, "I feel bad after the competition."

Since the IWF approved new bodyweight categories in 2018, the national women's weightlifting team has swiftly adjusted to the international arena.

The weightlifters continue winning medals at the international level and frequently break world records. Besides, key athletes have already gained enough points and qualified for the games in Tokyo.

It looked like everything was running smoothly, until unexpected and worrisome situations surfaced during recent competitions.

Except for the injured lifters, a total of 13 national team members returned to their respective local teams to compete in seven categories, but five of the weightlifter's failed to achieve results that would put them in the top three.

Data shows that only Wang Zhouyu had 100 percent success from all attempts. Eight national team players failed three times, including six failures in the first lifting trial.

These results were very disappointing to a team that is known for its high success rate.

Head coach Zhang saw this competition as a wake-up call.

"We have to know our weaknesses by analyzing problems exposed from the games," said the head coach.

National team members are experienced and the national championship may not carry much weight. But as Zhang says, "Training is no comparison to real competition."

In other words, it is competing that can test the athletes' technical capabilities and psychological qualities.

Some national team members said that they suffered from mental fatigue due to prolonged quarantine management during the outbreak of COVID-19, and that their performances were also affected by a long absence from competition.

One of the officials analyzed that it is difficult to maintain good competitive form, not only because of the mental problems, but also because the postponement of the Olympics has resulted in some athletes needing to recover from injuries, which they originally planned to 'tough it out'.

The domestic championship also saw many of the young athletes achieve excellent result. However, when taking their comprehensive strength, Olympic points, the rules, and other factors into account, it is not realistic that the newcomers will make the national team for the upcoming Olympics.

At the very least, those young talents have created a competitive atmosphere for the national team.

"I hope everyone will work hard for the goal of the Olympics," said Zhang.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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