Taiwan’s Hsu Shu-ching (許淑淨) won the nation’s first medal in the London Olympics on Sunday, taking silver in the women’s 53kg weightlifting event with a combined lift of 219kg.
During Sunday’s Group A women’s 53kg weightlifting event, Hsu successfully completed a snatch lift of 96kg on her third try, taking second place. For the clean and jerk stage, she managed 120kg on her first try, before unsuccessfully going for 123kg in the second. For her third try, she once again went for 123kg, this time successfully.
“I’m very happy, very excited, thanks to everyone who wished me luck, thanks everyone,” Hsu said.
Immediately after the event was over, Hsu raced off to find her mobile phone to share the news with her family back home in Taiwan.
During the presentation ceremony she was overcome with emotion, pointing to the Chinese Taipei flag representing Taiwan on the side of the arena and declaring to the world: “I am Taiwanese!”
Hsu’s coach, Tsai Wen-yee (蔡溫義), watching from the sidelines, was also jubilant. Tsai won Taiwan’s first weightlifting medal in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, winning bronze.
Disappointment followed when he was prevented from attending the 2000 Olympics in Sydney when the person he was coaching, Wu Mei-yi (吳美儀), tested positive for banned drugs.
Wu later became a coach and helped Hsu achieve her own dreams, entrusting her to Tsai’s coaching for this Olympics outing. Hsu’s victory this time has made up in some way for the disappointment in 2000.
The woman’s weightlifting event has always been the strongest event for Taiwan during the Olympic Games. Taiwanese weightlifters have already amassed quite a haul of medals since women’s weightlifting officially became an Olympic sport in 2000, bringing home one silver and three bronzes in the last three Olympics. Hsu has now added another silver to that haul and also stands to gain NT$7 million (US$233,000) in prize money.
Hsu’s silver will be the seventh Olympic silver for a Taiwanese and the 20th Olympic medal.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) conveyed his congratulations on Sunday night upon hearing the news of Hsu’s victory.