Sun, Aug 10, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan’s Chen Wei-ling wins bronze

By Mo Yan-chih AND Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS, WITH AFP , BEIJING

Taiwanese weightlifter Chen Wei-ling kisses her bronze medal after placing third in the women’s 48kg category at the Beijing Olympic Games yesterday morning.

PHOTO: CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) extended his congratulations to weightlifter Chen Wei-ling (陳葦綾) yesterday for winning a bronze medal in the women’s 48kg class category at the Beijing Olympic Games yesterday morning.

Chen is the first athlete from the Taiwanese team to pick up a medal.

“[Chen’s] bronze medal is worth great praise. We expect her to continue achieving greatness for the country,” Ma said in a written statement.

Chen’s combined lift of 196kg marked a significant improvement over her 11th place finish in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where she finished the 48kg women’s competition with a 170kg result.

Executive Yuan Spokeswoman Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said yesterday that to congratulate Chen, the government had asked Minister Without Portfolio Ovid Tseng (曾志朗), who leads a delegation of Taiwanese officials in Beijing, to present Chen with a red envelope.

Tseng, along with Sports Affairs Council Chairwoman Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) and Minister of Education Cheng Jei-cheng (鄭瑞城), attended the Games in their capacity as Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee advisers.

Later yesterday, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) showed their support for the national baseball team ahead of their trip to the Beijing Olympics by joining thousands of baseball fans at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium to watch the Taiwanese baseball team’s game against the Sinon Bulls.

The national baseball team heads for Beijing today and Ma said he expected it would win a gold medal.

Taiwan’s baseball team won a silver medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Taiwan’s 80-strong Olympic delegation will compete in 15 sports — archery, baseball, cycling, judo, rowing, sailing, shooting, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, badminton, tennis, track and field and weightlifting.

The nation won two gold medals — both in taekwondo — two silvers and one bronze at the Olympic Games in 2004 in Athens, ranking 31st in the overall medal standings that year.

Meanwhile, Shih dismissed a report in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday that said Tseng, Tai and Cheng had been given National Olympic Committee (NOC) cards granting limited access at Olympic-related venues that differed from the NOC cards given to dignitaries from other countries.


“The report is not true as our officials are allowed to go anywhere with their NOC cards,” she said. “The treatment we received was the same as four years ago. There is no problem with that.”

Tseng could not be reached for a comment.

Chen Wei-ling paid tribute to her trash-talking Chinese coach yesterday after she came from nowhere to bag the bronze medal in the 48kg class.

The world No. 11 saw her fortunes dramatically change for the better after ditching her self-help routine and hiring Chinese coach Zhang Jiamin.

“At the very beginning my coach told me that my style was probably the worst among the world’s lifters,” she told reporters.

“I am a woman of strength, but so poor in technique,” she said, praising her coach’s colorful language for helping “guide me in the proper technique.”

The results have been nothing short of spectacular, particularly in her problem area of the clean and jerk, where the barbell is first hoisted from the floor on to the shoulder blades and underneath the chin before the lifter jerks it above her head with both arms extended.

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