Lyu, Cummings and Charron star at Continental Weightlifting Championships

Lyu Xiaojun, including 37e birthday falls during the weightlifting competition at the Olympic Games in July, gave himself the chance to celebrate it with another gold medal by winning the Asian Championships at 81 kg.

In the simultaneous Pan American Championships in the Dominican Republic – both continental events are crucial “gold” qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 – CJ Cummings became the second champion in successive days for the United States, and another Olympic medal hoped for for them in the 73 kg.

There was an even more impressive performance from Maude Charron, the Canadian who broke all three Pan American records by winning the women’s 64 kg with a performance of six out of six.

Lyu, one of the world’s most popular weightlifters, was pushed through qualifying by teammate Li Dayin, and it was easy to see why in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Lyu holds the clean dry and total world records at 81kg, and he pulled off a clean sweep pulling 174kg to surpass world best Mohammed Ehab.

But 75 seconds later, Li came out and lifted 175 kg to win the world record and take the lead.

When Li failed his first clean and dry attempt at 198 kg, he appeared to be struggling with an injury, rubbing his back and thighs and looking worried.

He missed all three for a bomb and Lyu won with his first attempt at 199kg.

Lyu clearly enjoyed the victory and perhaps would have had even more to celebrate if he had made his next attempt at 208kg, which would have earned him two world records that day.

He failed and did not try again.

Maude Charron of Canada broke three Pan Am Championships records en route to victory in the women's 64 kg class in the Dominican Republic © Getty Images
Maude Charron of Canada broke three Pan American Championships records en route to victory in the women’s 64 kg class in the Dominican Republic © Getty Images

Lyu won his first continental title 10 years ago and would have retired already had Tokyo 2020 not been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He won at the former 77kg weight in London 2012 and was surprisingly beaten in second place at Rio 2016 by Nijat Rahimov of Kazakhstan, who is provisionally suspended for alleged sample exchange.

Second place went to Mukhammadkomir Toshtemirov of host country Uzbekistan, 20 kg adrift of Lyu over 353 kg.

Rejepbay Rejepov of Turkmenistan was third at 341 kg.

In Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, Cummings had a tight competition with his mainland rival Julio Mayora of Venezuela.

He completed five consecutive lifts before missing 194 kg and finished 155-188-343, ahead of Mayora – who at 24 is four years older – by 2 kg.

Jorge Cardenas of Mexico was third at 319 kg.

Taking all 73kg results from the European, Asian and Pan American Championships this month, Cummings’ total was only improved by Chinese world record holder Shi Zhiyong.

After Jourdan Delacruz’s effort to win the women’s 49kg yesterday, and with several more chances to come this week, the United States can be very pleased with the progress.

Charron’s 107-133-240 was a phenomenal effort, leaving her 6kg lead over Mercedes Perez of Colombia and placing her in the count for the Olympic podium.

Angie Palacios of Ecuador was still 8kg behind in third while Tokyo prospect Mattie Sasser of the United States was only able to finish fifth after missing three of his attempts.

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