China hope for 14 medals in weightlifting
China has been the biggest weightlifting winner in the games' history with 55G, 22S and 8B medals.india Updated: Dec 01, 2006 22:27 IST
Despite growing threat from other Asian countries, weightlifting powerhouse China is hopeful to end on the podium with 14 medals in the 15th Asian Games in Doha.
"Asian countries growing will do good to the sport, but our goal in Asiad is to win nine to 10 gold medals," Chinese Weightlifting Association president Ma Wenguang told on Friday.
China has been the biggest weightlifting winner in the games' history with 55 gold, 22 silver and eight bronze medals, followed by South Korea and Iran with 26 and 20 gold medals respectively.
Seven Chinese strongmen will compete in five categories this time.
"We have two lifters in each category and are hopeful particularly in the men's 62 kilogram and 69 kg in particular." he said.
Qiu Le, winning back-to-back World Championships in 2005 and 2006 in the 62 kg, is expected to win gold along with compatriot Mao Jiao, who will debut in Doha.
In men's 69 kg, Olympic champions Shi Zhiyong and Zhang Guozheng will hog the limelight as well. Shi also clinched a gold and a silver medal in 2005 and 2006 World Championships.
Chines women's weightlifting team is expected to win at least six gold medals, with seven strongwomen taking part in as many categories.
The Chinese 'Dream Team' includes Olympic gold medallist Chen Yanqing in the 58 kg, world champion Wang Mingjuan in the 48 kg, Li Ping in the 53 kg and World Champion Cao Lei.
Jang Mi Ran from South Korea will be hard to beat in the women's over 75 kg category in which China's Mu Shuangshuang will challenge her for the second time in 2006.
Jang had beaten Mu by lighter bodyweight in the Santo Domingo World Championship in October, 2006.
Jang, 23, set two world records at the 2006 South Korea-China-Japan Friendship Tournament, including an overall world record of 318 kg that beat the previous world record by 13 kg.