Ashgabat getting ready for weightlifting test
23 April, 2017 (09:07)
The annual Senior Asian Weightlifting Championships will showcase the best weightlifters from around the continent in the state-of-the-art Ashgabat 2017 Weightlifting Arena. Multiple Asian champion Li Ping is one of the most decorated athletes expected in the field, while Turkmen fans will be watching local heroes Hojamuhammet Toychyyev and Gulnabat Kadyrova.
Toychyyev hopes to add gold to last year’s bronze and silver medals from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Kadyrova will look to improve on her combined bronze in the women’s 69kg category.
Li Ping won her first world title at age seventeen at the 2005 Doha World Championships. The 28-year-old world record holder in the 53kg weight category went on to win another world title in 2007, Asian Games titles in 2006 and 2010, and Asian Championships golds in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
Li will face the challenge of Kuo Hsing-Chun from Chinese Taipei in the 58kg category in Ashgabat. Kuo won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Another Olympic medal winner to compete in Ashgabat is Kim Kuk Hyang. The heavyweight from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea won silver in the +75 category in Rio de Janeiro.
In the men’s tournament, it is expected that Chen hih-Chieh from Chinese Taipei will try to win a third consecutive title in the +105kg, after having won the event in 2015 and 2016.
Nestor Colonia from the Philippines is one of the flyweight favourites in the men’s tournament, after winning the Asian title in 2015 and taking bronze at the 2016 tournament. Colonia missed out on a medal in Rio after he failed three attempts to lift 154kg in the clean and jerk event.
Iran also has a strong weightlifting tradition, and Jaber Behrouzi is one of the country’s medal contenders in Ashgabat. The 25-year-old middleweight won the Asian title in the 69kg category, and he will compete in the 77kg category at the 2017 tournament.
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