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Powerlifter Li wins gold to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival
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15:51, September 15, 2008

Chinese powerlifter Li Ruifang collected the fifth gold for the host team at the Beijing Paralympics here on Sunday, the Chinese traditional Mid-Autumn Festival in 2008.

After lifting 165kg to win the women's over 82.5kg category gold, Li said: "The gold medal means a mooncake for me. Even though I haven't eaten a mooncake, I feel like I've had it."

"I feel extremely excited," said Li, 37. "I've won the gold medal in 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, but this time I felt different. This is my proudest one. Before the competition I really wanted to grab the medal from my inner heart, now it's like a dream come true."

Nigeria's Grace Ebere Anozie set the new Paralympic record of 165kg in her second attempt, breaking Li's previous record of 160kg set at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. In her second attempt, Li equaled ANOZIE's new record, making the play-off for the Gold and Silver medals a nail-biting finish.

But the 167.5kg proved a weight too far for both lifters, with Anozie and Li both faltering in their third attempts. Li beat the Nigerian by weight advantage. Anozie claimed Nigeria's fifth medal in powerlifting in the Beijing Paralympic Games.

Egypt's Nadia Maohamed Ali won the bronze medal in 150kg.

"I thought about breaking the world record, but my coach told me the gold is enough," Li said.

Born on May 20, 1971, Li started powerlifting 1993. "Powerlifting stands at the top in my heart," she said.

Besides a powerlifter, Li is also a mother of a seven-year-old girl. "I feel sorry for my daughter," Li said. "My family take care of her so I can devote myself to training and competing. We can say winning the gold medal is my family's accomplishment."

Source: Xinhua

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