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Group A had one less person than group B did, so their game went faster. The snatch competition ended quickly.
The athlete who had ranked No.1 in group A was Dashan Fang. He was the top weightlifting athlete in the country. He pouted his lips and smiled smugly. His snatch record was 141kg. He felt like it would be easy to win the entire competition.
"Snatch has actually always been my weakest lift. I did not expect my performance to be this good. Clean and jerk is my specialty. This championship is mine!" Dashan Fang thought the clean and jerk would only require him going through the motions. After his performance today, the championship would be his without a doubt.
As he was thinking this, the sound of applause suddenly echoed from group B.
"There is one more person in group B. The competition has not ended yet." Dashan Fang leaned back in his chair, not caring about the competition in group B at all. To him, people in group B were losers that had no chance at all.
Dashan Fang's coach suddenly ran up to him hurriedly and said, "Dashan, someone in group B lifted 141kg also."
"What?" Dashan Fang stood up straight and asked cautiously, "How could group B have such an overqualified athlete? Who is it? Is it someone new?"
There were many talented weightlifting athletes in the nation. No one could predict when a dark horse would show up, which worried Dashan Fang a lot.
"I guess you could say he is a new face, but he isn't, really. It was Aiguo Jiang who lifted 141kg," the coach said.
"I have heard that name before. Oh, I remember. He is an athlete who is quite old right? I think he should be over 30 years old. I remember he used to be in the 69kg weight class. How come he is in the 62kg weight class? Did he drop to a lighter weight? But how is that possible? How could an athlete in their 30s drop to a lighter weight class yet retain so much strength?"
"I know, right? I was surprised when I saw him. I'm also wondering how he made it into the 62kg weight class. I did not expect to drop to a lower weight class. You need to be careful. He is an experienced veteran. He knows all the tricks, and he is good at the clean and jerk!" The coach looked at the list of names in his hand and continued, "You are lucky that you were 0.04kg lighter than him in the pre-weighing. We have the upper hand now."
Clean and jerk was easier for athletes to use their strength than the snatch. This was why the records were always higher in the clean and jerk competition. It also required more technique. The ability of national weightlifting athletes was generally quite good, so they normally performed better in the clean and jerk.
The first athlete in group B to make an attempt chose 145kg, which was 30kg heavier than their snatch had been.
The weight increased gradually until it reached 160kg, at which point Aiguo Jiang finally stepped on the field.
At the sound of the starting ring, Aiguo Jiang successfully completed the movement, then dropped the barbell on the ground. It bounced a once it landed, even though even it weighed 160kg. The people near the field could feel that the ground shake when it fell.
As this was happening, applause could be heard from the people spectating group A. It sounded like thunder.
Dashan Fang raised his hands and began to celebrate his victory. The pace was a little bit slower in group A. Dashan Fang had just finished his second trial lift of 169kg.
The news of his lift was passed on to group B. Dai Li walked over to Aiguo Jiang and said, "My bro, Dashan Fang from group A just lifted 169kg. Your snatch records were from before were identical. He is now ahead of you by 9kg, and he is lighter than you. I think we should try 170kg for now. You've lifted it before during training.
"Okay, let's go to 170kg!" Aiguo Jiang said firmly.
The weight had been raised to 163kg in group B. The other two athletes had already failed at this weight. The only person remaining in group B was Aiguo Jiang. The staff came out and raised the weight to 170kg.
"Look, the weight was raised to 170kg. Aiguo Jiang is going to lift 170kg!"
"Dashan Fang from group A just lifted 169kg. It seems like Aiguo Jiang wants to lead the competition!"
"I saw that their records for the snatch were both 141kg. If Aiguo Jiang can lift 170kg, he can beat Dashan Fang. Just imagine, an athlete from group B beating an athlete from group A. What a good counterattack!"
"Do not jump to conclusions. Aiguo Jiang's first trial lift was 160kg. He might not be able to lift it at all after raising the weight by 10kg. He might just be rolling the dice."
Everyone in the audience had different opinions. Aiguo Jiang smeared his hands with chalk and got ready for the competition on the field.
When the bell rang, Aiguo Jiang held his breath and lifted the barbell. He crouched and continued to use his strength to push the barbell up to the height of his chest. Once he got the weight there, he used his strength and balance to crouch to the ground.
Once he was crouched, he used his power to stand up and lift the barbell above his head until his arms were fully stretched out. Aiguo Jiang then adjusted his leg position, putting his feet in line with one another. Finally, he stood still with the barbell above his head.
"Beeee…" Aiguo Jiang put the barbell back on the ground with the sound. He exhaled when he saw the three white lights glowing to the side of him.
"He did it! 170kg. Aiguo Jiang did it! He beat Dashan Fang by 1kg! He is going to be in the championship!"
The audience was shouting and applauding all over the competition field.
People always had a tendency to root for the underdog. Stories of people turning from losers to rock stars were always popular in literature. To the audience, if an athlete from group B could beat an athlete from group A and won the championship, it would be exciting and worth their applause.
Because it was Aiguo Jiang's home field, the audience mostly consisted of local people from Qing City. As a provincial athlete, he would definitely have the support of the audience. People would prefer Aiguo Jiang win the championship rather than someone else.
In group A, Dashan Fang was already targeting the No.1 spot. A different athlete had already failed to lift 170kg
"I already won the competition here. Maybe I should give up on the last trial lift to avoid being injured." As Dashan Fang was thinking about it, the sound of shouting and applause surprised him.
"What is going on? The noise is coming from group B." Dashan Fang raised his head and looked around, only to find that even the the people that had been spectating group A were looking in the direction of group B.
The coach ran to him in a hurry looking very serious. He said, "We are in trouble. Aiguo Jiang from group B just lifted 170kg. He is now leading you by 1kg."
"170kg? I was beat by an athlete from group B?" Dashan Fang was shocked. His eyes were wide open in disbelief. He had thought that he would win easily. He had never expected that a low-level athlete from group B would beat him.
The coach continued, "Aiguo Jiang's pre-weighing lifts are higher than yours. As long as you can lift 170kg, you can beat him. But this is only his second trial lift, which means you both get one more chance. It would be quite dangerous to choose 170kg!"
Dashan Fang frowned and said, "You are right. I will lose the game if he can lift 170kg."
The coach nodded and said, "Let's wait and see if we can hold off and let Aiguo Jiang choose the weight first. Then we can follow him and win back the upper hand."
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