August 7, 2016 / 11:37 PM / 3 years ago

Weightlifting: Hsu takes gold for Taiwan and a big pot of dollars

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Hsu Shu-ching claimed a 53kg gold medal for Taiwan at the Rio Games on Sunday, consigned arch-rivals China to a humbling defeat and should soon become a double Olympic champion while winning a lot of prize money in the process.

2016 Rio Olympics - Weightlifting - Victory Ceremony - Women's 53kg Victory Ceremony - Riocentro - Pavilion 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Hsu Shu-Ching (TPE) of Taiwan poses with the gold medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Hsu finished second at London 2012 but the winner, Zulfiya Chinshanlo, tested positive in a recent reanalysis of samples and is suspended.

Although Chinshanlo is Chinese she switched nationality to Kazakhstan, the nation with the worst doping record in weightlifting in recent years.

Her title will be taken from her when the legal process is complete and Hsu will be promoted to first place.

“I hope that happens soon, and the silver turns to gold,” said Hsu. Taiwan rewards its Olympic medalists well and that promotion would earn Hsu about $140,000.

The prize for a gold in Rio will take her total Olympic earnings to about $700,000 including what she has already been paid.

Asked what she will spend it on, Hsu said: “If I get this money it will be my pension for life, and I will give some to my family”.

Hsu, 25, had expected a strong challenge from China’s Li Yajun but it never materialized. Li missed all three clean & jerk attempts and became only the second Chinese female weightlifter ever to fail to register a total. The first, Zhou Jun in London four years ago, was also a 53kg lifter.

Hsu suffered a string of serious injuries and did not compete for two years after the London Games. She had a cervical herniated disc, a leg injury and tendinitis. Hsu knows plenty about injuries as she is about to graduate in sports medicine.

Helped by Li’s failure, Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines moved up from fifth after the snatch to second overall, winning a first weightlifting medal for her country.

Yoon Jin Hee of South Korea took the bronze.

Editing by Ken Ferris

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