Vietnamese weightlifter crowned world champion

By Xuan Binh   September 6, 2023 | 01:30 am PT
Vietnamese weightlifter crowned world champion
Lai Gia Thanh competes in SEA Games 32 in May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Lai Gia Thanh won three gold medals at the ongoing 2023 World Weightlifting Championships in Saudi Arabia.

For the first time since 2017 and the second time in history, Vietnam has a world champion in weightlifting.

Six years ago in the U.S., Thach Kim Tuan won three gold medals in the men's 56 kg category, while another Vietnamese, Tran Le Quoc Toan won three silver medals in the same weight class.

In Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night, Thanh lifted 123 kg in the snatch event and 146 kg in the clean and jerk, bringing his total weight lifted to 169 kg to win all three gold medals in the men's 55 kg category.

Thanh, 25, has won gold medals in the most recent three SEA Games editions, the first Vietnamese weightlifter to do so.

This weight class is no longer in the Summer Olympics or Asian Games. The last time the International Olympic Committee (IOC) included this weight class in the Olympics was in 2016. This weight class saw Hoang Anh Tuan win an Olympic silver medal in 2008 and Quoc Toan win a bronze in 2012.

The World Weightlifting Championships takes place annually, with weight classification based on regulations of the International Weightlifting Federation, not the IOC.

This year's tournament takes place in Riyadh from Sept. 4 to 17, with 20 weight classes divided equally between men and women. The 55 kg category is the lowest for male athletes.

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