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China lifts its weight in Olympic gold rush (3)
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17:31, August 13, 2008


Liao Hui of China celebrates after taking a successful lift during the men's 69kg final of weightlifting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 12, 2008. Liao won the gold medal with a total of 348 kilos.(Xinhua Photo)

"I will play my part to secure my teammate Shi Zhiyong (to get the gold)," lifter Liao Hui said before the Games. He added as a rookie, he would just take this opportunity to gain more experience.

But Liao successfully overcame pressure and lived up to the home fans' expectations and won the Olympic title. In contrast, Shi had to quit the clean and jerk competition due to a waist injury.

Liao said he had no advantage over his teammate, and just worried less than Shi did.

Born in Xiantao City, a renowned "home of gymnasts" in the central Hubei Province, Liao dreamed of following suit when he was seven years old. He changed his mind the following year when he caught the eye of weightlifting coach Gan Yongkui.

Liao's parents initially did not want him to become a weightlifter because they feared he would end up short and squat. Eventually they agreed after his first coach paid the family persistent visits, guaranteeing a promising future.

At age 20, Liao, together with teen prodigy Long Qingquan, is likely to represent China again at the 2012 London Games.

Long Qingquan of China takes a lift at the men's 56kg final of weightlifting at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. Long claimed title in this event. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

Long won the men's 56 kg title on Sunday giving China its sixth gold of the Games. The chubby, electronic games-loving 17-year-old, who idolizes world record holder Halil Mutlu, lifted 132 kg in the snatch and set two new junior world records with a clean and jerk effort of 160 kg and a combined total of 292 kg.

"It's a great pity that he could not compete here today," Long said of Olympic legend Mutlu, who still holds all the world's bantamweight lifting records after his last appearance on the Olympic stage in Athens four years ago. The Turk had skipped Beijing because he couldn't lift his target weight.

"As you know he is also my target. I dream to surpass him," he said.

Source:Xinhua
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1 China 17 3 5 25
2 USA 10 8 10 28
3 South Korea 5 6 1 12
5 Italy 4 4 2 10
4 Australia 4 2 6 12
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