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February 14, 2022
Prolific Chinese weightlifter Deng Wei retires after 19 fruitful years in the sport. Deng Wei was a dominant competitor in the international weightlifting community with numerous world records and a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Deng Wei is a decorated weightlifter from Sanming, China, and was born in 1993. At 16 years old, Deng Wei became a force in the international weightlifting community when she won the World Youth Championships in the 58kg class. Then in 2010, when at just 17 years old, she took gold at the World Championships in Turkey. She also took gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore the same year.
Over the next decade, Deng Wei put up some seriously impressive lifts. She set 20 world records over multiple weight classes. Starting at the 58 kg class, she also competed in the 63 kg class. She crushed the 63 kg class competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where she set a new world record in the clean & jerk with 147 kg plus a new total world record with 262 kg. After the weight classes were reorganized, Deng Wei moved up to the 64 kg class in 2018.
She continued her dominance in this new class by setting 5 new world records at the 2018 World Weightlifting Championships in Turkmenistan. Deng Wei’s last major record-setting competition came in 2019 at the World Championships held in Thailand, where she set the current world records in the 64 kg class with a 116kg snatch, 145kg clean & jerk, and a 261kg total.
Deng Wei missed the Tokyo Olympic Games due to injuries, but she was poised for another great showing had she competed.
News of Deng Wei’s retirement came from Yilin Yang, a journalist who runs the Instagram account squat_jerk_journalist. He posted an image of the retirement papers that Deng Wei allegedly filed in China. See the image below:
At the bottom of the post, the Chinese roughly translates to:
“In 19 years of weightlifting career, there are difficulties, setbacks, grievances, sadness, and regret. Have fun, joy, honor, pride, and be very lucky to have some achievements. Also, very honored to be a role model in the eyes of some people. On this day, everything will be gone, no longer an athlete, walk out of the training field, step off the podium, start a new life journey.”
Deng Wei will go down in history as one of the greatest weightlifters of all time. She had a tremendous career, and will surely be missed. SET FOR SET wishes her well in her next chapter in life.
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