Veteran Lyu becomes oldest weightlifting champion at 37

Lyu Xiaojun of China celebrates his victory. © Xinhua/Yang Lei
Lyu Xiaojun of China celebrates his victory. © Xinhua/Yang Lei

Tokyo, Japan, July 31, 2021: China collected its fifth gold medal of the weightlifting competition at Tokyo 2020 on Saturday when Lyu Xiaojun won the men’s 81kg category at the Tokyo International Forum.

Lyu, 37, swept the Olympic records with a 170kg snatch, 204kg clean and jerk and 374kg total to claim Olympic gold. He also made history as the oldest weightlifter to win Olympic gold.

“Weightlifting is my lifetime career,” he said.

“My family is part of my life, and weightlifting is another part of my life. I really loved this weightlifting competition, and weightlifting itself. I think it is a beautiful art, that’s maybe why I can take part for such a long time.”

The Hubei-born Lyu added: “Perhaps I can continue until I am 40.

“I really enjoy having this opportunity to compete and work with the young athletes on the stage. I would like to thank my fans for believing in me and for the support.”

This was Lyu’s second Olympic gold after London 2012 and his third Olympic medal as he won silver at Rio 2016 – both at 77kg.

Of China’s 21 gold medals at close of play on Saturday, July 31, five had come from weightlifting including four from men’s events.