Xu Lili dreams of Paralympic gold

China’s powerlifting world champion already focused on Tokyo 2020

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Motivated after claiming her first world title at Mexico City 2017, Xu Lili feels ready to chase her Paralympic golden dreams at Tokyo 2020.

“I want to fulfil my dream of becoming a Paralympic champion,” she said. “In order to achieve that, I need to train well, try hard to improve my performance and get ready for the 2020 Games.”

Two years ago, the Chinese left Rio 2016 with a bittersweet taste when she ended second in the women’s up to 79kg after lifting only 3kg less than Nigeria’s gold medallist Bose Omolayo.

But Xu took revenge in 2017 by taking gold at the World Championships with a 136kg lift, 7kg more than her arch-rival Omolayo, who sealed silver.

“I was a little nervous at first because, after all, we were competing with high-level players,” she said. “The result was very satisfying. It was my happiest and luckiest day ever and shared it with my parents.

“The first person I thought of after winning that gold was my coach Peng Fuqiang. I wanted to thank him for all his hard work and his help. I was just happy I did not let him down.

“I embraced him and my teammates to share with them my joy and also hoping to pass on good vibes to them.”

Xu, who is likely to compete at the Kitakyushu 2018 Asian-Oceania Open Championships in Japan between 8-12 September, also highlights the union among the Chinese team members is fundamental in achieving success.

“The atmosphere within the team is harmonious; we love and help each other like a big family.”

Full results from the World Championships are available on Mexico City 2017’s website.