Interview with Ma Wenguang, General Secretary of the IWF and President of the Chinese Weightlifting Association
Q: DID LAST NIGHT DOUBLE VICTORY MAKE YOU ALREADY SATISFIED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CHAMPIONSHIPS?
A: The champion Wu Jingbiao’s spirit and his manner impressed me very much. The audience enjoyed the way he was struggling for the gold. To overcome difficulties is the universal language of sport. Of course it was not a perfect performance as I do not think anything is perfect in our world around us. I appreciate how our lifter could express himself with all his power and energy on the platform. The performance of Tian Yuan winning the gold with six good attempts is memorable, not to forget her very young age, but she still has a long way to go. In China specially in competitive sports there is a saying that the last minute of the victory ceremony is the best moment to restart everything from the very beginning again. This is the only way to expect better performances by better athletes.
Q: WHY DID NOT TIAN YUAN TRY TO BREAK THE JUNIOR WORLD RECORD? SHE WAS SO CLOSE TO IT.
A: You must know before travelling to Paris she has just finished the city games in China and her coach did not want to risk any injury.
Q: CHINA IS SO STORNG IN WEIGHTLIFTING THAT OLYMPIC CHAMPION LONG, WORLD CHAMPIONS CHEN XIAOTING AND WEI DENG ARE NOT PRESENT IN PARIS. WHAT IS THE REASON?
A: It is due to a change in our selection policy. There is a very strong rivalry among the best lifters of the different provinces. This year I changed the way of selecting athletes for top competitions like this. Just one occasion decides all questions. Long lost to Wu and as a result Wu Jingbiao was given a chance to come. No excuse for the lifters not to take part at the competiton to select the best. No injury, no illness, nothing is accepted if somebody does not start for any reason. This system of selection follow the truth of the rule the stronger can compete. All the three athletes you have mentioned lost to their rivals even though they had good training results. This system is very much similar to American track and field model where there is just one chance is given to everybody. This is the new trend in Chinese weightlifting and we select for London the same way.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NEXT TWO CATEGORIES OF TODAY?
A: I hope they are both ready to present the culture of weightlifting, spirit, technique and good manner. This way the audience will have perfect enjoyment. First place I am not interested in their final positions but their performance makes me excited. Ji Jing and Zhang Jie must achieve their usual training results. This championship is mostly a platform to gain more experience and to be more mature before the Games. I never put pressure on our athletes shoulder before competitions.