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China's para-powerlifter Liu stuns world

(Xinhua)

08:43, September 03, 2012

LONDON, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Guaranteeing gold and shattering men's 67.5kg powerlifting Paralympic record in his first attempt, failing in the following two attempts to set new world record of 225.5kg, Chinese para-powerlifter Liu Lei pushed up the 226kg bar bell in the last attempt to bring down the house on Sunday.

In the London Pralympics' Excel arena, Liu, 25, cleared 218kg in his first attempt to refresh the 217.5kg Paralympic record and claimed the title.

Champion of the Beijing Paralympics, Liu vowed to break the world record of 225kg in London.

Though he pushed up the bar bell of 225.5kg twice, the referee judged them as "fail".

According to the referee, Liu did not hold the bar bell for enough time and his arms shook when he pushed up the bar bell.

Although Liu did not agree with the referee, his coach Li Weipu asked him to keep calm for the last attempt.

Stunning all the spectators at the scene, Liu decided to challenge the weight of 226kg instead of the 225.5kg.

After a three-minute rest, Liu lied on the bench and almost 10, 000 spectators were waving flags and clapping hands for him, anticipating the hero-like legend.

With no chink in one's armour, Liu made it!

When the three white lights were on, the whole Excel arena was boiling. Everybody stood up, applauding for the Chinese strongman.

Liu's coach Li said that Liu was too excited in his second and third attempt but he trains very hard in regular practise and is able to clear more weights.

"So he is very confident in the competition," Li added.

Liu, who had polio as a baby, started powerlifting in 2002 at the age of 15.

"Today, I came here not only for the gold medal, but refreshing world record," Liu said.
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