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Weightlifter Liao Surpasses Junior World
    2007-11-01 16:34:56     Xinhua
Liao Hui stole the spotlight at the 6th Chinese City Games, as the 20-year-old beat two junior world records in the 69kg category to clinch the gold in Wuhan on Thursday.

Liao, a hot favorite of the Games after leading the preliminary competitions, lifted a total of 342kg, which is 7kg more than the junior world record in total.

The 20-year-old hoisted 157kg in the snatch, which also beat the junior world record of 156kg, and jerked 185kg to claim the title.

"I really hope I can take part in the Olympics next year," said Liao who also expressed his hope to surpass China's Olympic and world champion Zhang Guozheng.

In the men's 69kg category, Zhang lifted a total of 347.5 kg to be crowned at Athens Olympics and cleared a total 347kg to claim the title at the Chiang Mai worlds in September.

Liao, winner of University Weightlifting World Cup in Peru this year, hoisted 185kg in his second attempt today in the jerk, asked for 193kg in his last attempt, but failed due to overtime.

"I could have lifted 193kg in the jerk, but I was so careless that I did not notice the time." He said.

"My idol is Zhang Guozheng, and I admire him very much," said Liao. "My training result is not far from his. I think I will surpass him before the Olympics next year."

"It is his best performance," said Yu Jie, Liao's coach. "He succeeded in five attempts and became a new star at the City Games. "

"Liao's techniques are very good, and he also has strong mentality," said Yu. "Liao entered the national squad last April. If Zhang Guozheng and Shi Zhiyong can not compete in the Olympics, Liao will probably get the chance."

Shi Zhiyong had lifted 350kg in total at the 2005 worlds.

"Even if Liao doesn't have the chance, he is still the most hopeful weightlifter after Olympics."

Liao, a Hubei native, was dug out by Gan Yongkui, head coach of Hubei weightlifting team, at the age of ten and started his weightlifting career.

Liao gave Yu a pair of weightlifting shoes before the Games as a souvenir, because Yu was the winner of the World Junior Championships in 1989.

"I will give it to Luo Cheng, a young weightlifter in the team, and ask him to take Liao as a good example," Yu said.

Liao's parents came to the City Games to see Liao's performance. "My lowest requirement to him is to stand on the podium," said Liao's mother. "I hope that he can win a medal in the Olympics."


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