Olympic Athlete Spotlight: Lu Xiaojun, Weightlifting

  • Lu Xiaojun is one of the most dominant weightlifters of the last decade winning the gold medal in 2012 and the silver in 2016.
  • Xiaojun is a big favorite (-275 odds) and the competition in the field sees their odds trail off rapidly, showing a fairly weak field.

TOKYO - Lu Xiaojun is a name that many people might already be familiar with, as he’s been one of the most dominant weightlifters of the decade. Lu is already an Olympic champion, as well as a five time world champion, with most of his success coming at 77kg.

However, the International Weightlifting Federation reworked their official weight classes in 2018, which means he is now competing at 81kg in the Tokyo Olympics.

One might have expected Lu, making such a transition very deep into his storied career, to struggle at a new weight class.

One would be wrong.

Over his career at 77kg, Lu set seven world records. At 81kg, a weight class he’s only competed in since 2018, he’s set six.

In addition, he’ll be looking to avenge a silver medal performance at the Rio Olympics in 2016, albeit in a slightly heavier weight class.

Lu is a big favorite on the online sportsbooks in his 81kg weight class.

Tokyo 2021 - Men's 81kg Weightlifting Odds

  • Lu Xiaojun (CHN) -275
  • Antonino Pizzolato (ITA) +333
  • Zacarias Bonnat Michel (DOM) +1000
  • Brayan Santiago Rodallegas Carvajal (COL) +1200
  • Harrison James Maurus (USA) +3300
  • Rejepbay Rejepov (TKM) +3300
  • Andres Mata (ESP) +6600
  • Ritvars Suharevs (LAT) +10000

Lu is the current world record holder for total at 81kg, a record he set at the 2019 World Championships.

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He was unable to equal it at the 2020 Asian Championships, but he came very close, failing a 208kg clean and jerk that would have broken the clean and jerk world record as well as brought him to a new world record total.

At this point, it seems as though Lu’s closest competition is himself. He’s been breaking his own world records for years now.

It’s worth noting that between 2019 and 2020, he added 3kg to his snatch, and only his failed clean and jerk kept him from breaking his own world record.

His closest competition in the Olympics will be from Antonino Pizzolato, who has been improving on his totals year by year.

Pizzolato put up a 370kg total in the most recent European Championships, a total Lu has exceeded many times in competition, including when he was at 77kg.

For Olympic betting fans, Lu could be looked at as something of a sure thing, but the failed clean and jerk at the 2020 Asian Championships, as well as his advanced age (he will turn 37 during the Olympics) could be warning signs.

It will be intriguing to see what happens to him, and whether he can avenge his silver medal from 2016.