Top government officials have congratulated weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) after she won two gold medals and a silver at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland, on Tuesday.
Kuo, a 19-year-old Amis Aborigine studying at National Taiwan Sport University, broke Taiwan’s national record and won a silver medal by lifting 108kg in the women’s 58kg snatch competition, then 133kg in the clean and jerk to take the gold. Those two scores added up to a total of 241kg, breaking another national record and netting Kuo a second gold medal.
On hearing of Kuo’s achievement, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) all sent congratulatory messages to the Taiwan team competing at the Wroclaw championships.
The championships started at the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw on Wednesday last week and are to finish on Monday, with 317 athletes from 59 countries taking part.
Kuo’s achievement in Wroclaw is her reward for her diligent training after coming a disappointing eighth place with a total score of 228kg at the London Olympics last year.
She did better at the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, in July, setting Universiade records in the snatch, clean and jerk and total weight in the women’s 58kg class. Kuo followed up that success by lifting 102kg in the snatch and 135kg in the clean and jerk at the Asian Games in Tianjin, China, last month, reaching a total of 237kg.
Kuo turns 20 next month. Her next big contest will be next year’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, which will be a touchstone for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Ministry of Education’s Sports Administration is urging Kuo’s coaches to limit her participation in competitions to a reasonable level so that she can keep to her optimum training plan and achieve the best possible results at the Rio Olympics in three years ‘time.