Chinese weightlifter wins gold despite nasty bang on the head by bar

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 5:44am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 8:46pm

China’s superwoman weightlifter Xiang Yanmei suffered a sickening-looking accident when she dropped the bar – loaded with 118kg – on her head, but somehow recovered to win Olympic gold.

The first-time Olympian was on her final lift on the snatch when she lost her grip, the bar slamming her in the back of the head and whiplashing her neck.

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But the 24-year-old appeared to shrug off the incident as she walked slowly off stage.

After a breather, she eventually lifted a total of 261kg, winning gold in the women’s 69kg category.

“I felt a little dizzy [when it hit me]. But I am okay now,” she said after the event. “It still hurts a little but that’s fine.”

Kazakhstan’s Zhazira Zhapparkul clinched silver with a combined score of 259kg while Egypt’s Sara Ahmed won bronze with 255kg.

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Xiang dedicated her victory to her father.

“I started weightlifting when I was little because of my dad. My dad loves sports, but because of his family and his environment it did not really allow him to fulfill his dreams. In a lot of ways I am just like him and I also like to get the best result no matter what I do. It is why I hope I can fulfill his dreams.”

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And she says she’s out to break Liu Chunhong´s world record of 286kg in the next year: “Ever since 2015 I have lifted 284kg in training and this result has happened two or three times since I have joined the national team. Liu has always been the standard and I always try to learn from her and in this 69kg category I would like to make history to reach the result of 287kg next year.”

It is China’s ninth gold in the Rio Olympics.

Xiang’s victory came the day after another Chinese weightlifter Deng Wei smashed the world record in the women’s 63kg category, and Shi Zhiyong took home gold in the men’s 69kg category.