Thanks to reader Sean for sending this in and providing a translation!
This is a recap of team China’s performance at the 2018 Worlds, done by CCTV and “featuring the usual Chinese reporter on weightlifting Wu Pu and the usual commentator for the Chinese broadcasts Pang Gaoxing”.
Translation in Progress
Intro and success rates 0:00 – 2:37
Reporter: Everyone has welcoming back the Chinese team and sharing their congratulations on social media. 20 competing athletes all took home medals of some sort. This is not a common occurrence correct?
Pang: It has never happened before.
Wu: I’ve been reporting on the weightlifting team for 17 years. As a side note, sorry if I seem out of it. Im very jet lagged. This is a first time. I think it has a lot to due with their attitude towards training this season. The coaches were very hard on the success rates of lifts. We can even see from the competition that only one athlete succeeded in only 3 attempts. 17 athletes had all had 5/6s. No bomb outs.
Reporter: Was this something that the team was working on beforehand?
Wu: Yes. This was a qualifying event for the olympics after all so each bomb out would effect the accumulation of points.
Reporter: Was their any other reasons for the high success rates?
Wu: The changing of the weight categories has something to do with it as well I would say. Many athletes didn’t need to cut weight and felt great. They also went easy on the opening attempts just to pace themselves properly. This was especially important for the younger athletes. For any athletes like Li Dayin, this is their first major competition or maybe even their first time outside of the country. Athletes like Deng Wei, they can fail their first attempt and still remain calm. This might not be the case for the younger athletes.
Reporter: Is the overall result inline with expectations?
Pang: Before the competition, we had predictions of the outcome. 7 golds for the total was within the expectation. Which one of the categories was less clear. Traditionally, we have high hopes for the lighter women’s categories. Obviously, this time we lost these places to the Thai athletes. But in the higher classes we obtained gold. The same goes for the men’s. So overall, the number of golds was not a surprise. The surprise was where the golds came from.
Reporter: I feel the tables have been turned. Traditionally we expected more from the lighter athletes.
Wu: I wouldn’t say anything is completely set in stone. With the exception of Deng Wei and She Zhiyong, none of the athletes are guaranteed wins in their classes. I would say we are definitely ahead in terms of technique in the lifts. The Thai athletes were definitely a surprise and very scary. For the heavier men’s classes, I wouldn’t say anything is for certain since many athletes are in their adjustment periods. Heavier classes have always been our weakness and even athletes like Yang Zhe and Tian Tao, they are the exceptions and not norm for us in these classes. They have potential but they are still relatively less competitive.
The changing of weight classes and its effect 6:13
Reporter: The biggest news in the sport has to be the changing of the weight classes. This change would likely have an effect on many of our more competitive athletes. Lu xiaojun had to move up to 81 from 77. There has to be an adjustment of sorts. How was it done?
Pang: The change happened this year on July 7th. We now have ten categories for each gender. This was the first time since 1998 where the classes were changed. Overall, we have to say that the change has more negative than positive effects on our athletes. For our female athletes, they are relative lighter to begin with. Now many of these athletes have to move up a weight class. For many of our male athletes who tend to be heavier in the offseason, they moved all the relative classes down. The 62kg class was also our strong point. Now its the 61kg class. 69kg moved to 67kg. Our male athletes now have to move up as well. On athletes like Tian Tao, this change brought a massive effect. He now has to move from 85 to 96 to compete in the olympics. Now he competes with Moradi who was a 94kg lifter to begin with.
Wu: Not only did he need to gain 11kg of bodyweight. He had to gain it very quickly. I guess its not just our opponents who have us figured out. The IWF has us figured out as well.
Pang: It is what it is. The motto of the team is “Face reality, accept the challenge, increase our competitiveness, and continue to create victories”. You do you and we will do what we have to do.
Reporter: The other teams are adjusting similarly correct? Like we mentioned before, we had no idea the athletes from Thailand would suddenly become so competitive.
Pang: I have to add that the change is an advantage for them. The champion was as 53kg lifter last year.
Wu: Irawan’s bodyweight was also relatively heavier and fluctuating between 56 and 62. So he also didn’t require drastic changes.