David Ramos/Getty Images

Weightlifter Tanasan wins Thailand’s first gold medal of Rio Olympics

Leave a comment

The first medals of the weightlifting competitions at the Rio Olympics were handed out Saturday night, with the women’s 48kg division being contested at the Riocentro Pavilion 2. In the end it was Thailand’s Sopita Tanasan at the head of the class, with her combined weight of 200kg in snatch and clean and jerk lifts being enough to win the gold medal.

Tanasan became Thailand’s first gold medalist in the women’s 48kg competition, winning by eight kilograms. She also became the fourth Olympic gold medalist in weightlifting for Thailand, with all four holders being women.

Winning the silver medal was Indonesia’s Sri Wahyuni Agustiani, who missed on attempts of 115kg in the clean and jerk in her second and third attempts, with a total weight of 192kg. Japan’s Hiromi Miyake won the bronze medal with a total weight lifted of 188kg, beating out Beatriz Elizabeth Piron Candelaro by a single kilogram to get onto the medal stand.

Competing in her fourth Olympic Games, Miyake is the third member of her family to earn a medal in weightlifting. Her father Yoshiyuki Miyake won a bronze medal in the featherweight division in 1968, and her uncle Yoshinobu won gold medals in the featherweight division in 1964 and 1968 after winning a silver medal in 1960.

Morghan King Whitney of the United States finished sixth in the competition with a total weight lifted of 183 kilograms (83kg snatch, 100kg clean and jerk). King’s snatch of 83kg set a new American record in that particular lift. Sunday two more weight classes will be held, with the women’s 53kg and men’s 56kg weight class competitions being held.

World Cup Alpine season opener gets green light

Getty Images
Leave a comment

After checking the snow on the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden, Austria, FIS officials announced Thursday that the traditional World Cup season opener is set to go ahead as planned Oct. 26-27 with men’s and women’s giant slalom races.

Current conditions at Soelden show a solid 30 inches of snow at the summit. The race finishes at an altitude of 2,670 meters (8,760 feet), far above the currently snowless village.

The first races of the season are never guaranteed to have enough snow, though last year’s men’s race at Soelden had the opposite problem, being canceled when a storm blew through with heavy snowfall and high winds. 

France’s Tessa Worley won the women’s race last year ahead of Italy’s Frederica Brignone and U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who would go on to dominate the rest of the World Cup season.

The Soelden weekend is followed by three dormant weeks until the season resumes Nov. 23-24 in Levi, Finland. The World Cup circuits then switch to North America. The men will run speed events Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Lake Louise, Alberta, then head to Beaver Creek, Colo., for more speed events and a giant slalom Dec. 6-8. The women run slalom and giant slalom Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Killington, Vt., and head to Lake Louise the next weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Olympic marathon and race walk move from Tokyo to Sapporo draws some pushback

Getty Images
1 Comment

In the wake of a dropout-plagued set of world championship endurance races in Qatar, moving the 2020 Olympic marathons and race walks from Tokyo to the cooler venue of Sapporo is a quick fix for one problem, pending the potential for untimely heat waves.

But the move has drawn some opposition for a variety of reasons.

First, many organizers and politicians appear to have been caught by surprise. Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, was “taken aback” and Sapporo’s mayor, Katsuhiro Akimoto, learned about the move from the media, Kyodo News reported. Koike even sarcastically suggested that the races could move all the way northward to islands disputed by Russia and Japan.

South African sports scientist Ross Tucker suggested that running in heat and humidity poses an interesting challenge for athletes, some of whom may be able to catch up with faster runners by preparing for the conditions.

British marathoner Mara Yamauchi made a similar point, saying the move was unfair to those who already were preparing for the heat, humidity and other conditions.

Belgian marathoner Koen Naert said he will make the best of the change but complained that some of his preparation and every runner’s logistical planning would no longer apply.

The angriest athlete may be Canadian walker Evan Dunfee, who placed fourth in the 2016 Olympic 50km race and nearly claimed bronze as a Canadian appeal was upheld but then rejected. He says runners and walkers can beat the conditions if they prepare, which many athletes did not do for the world championships in Qatar.

“So why do we cater to the ill prepared?” Dunfee asked on Twitter.

The move also takes athletes out of the main Olympic city and takes away the traditional, tough less frequent in modern years, finish in the Olympic stadium.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!