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Li Zhuo Looks for China's First Gold in Olympics
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Chinese Olympic debutant Li Zhuo istaking on a high note of her Olympic experience, expecting to win the first weightlifting gold medal at the Athens Games.

And if something goes against Chinese shooters' plan, the strongwoman may claim the first gold for the Chinese delegation inthe ancient city.

However, the women's 48-kg world champion firmly believes that Chinese sharpshooters could shoot down the gold. "We are all endeavouring for the glory of the nation," she said in the Nikaia Olympic Hall, the weightliting venue for the Olympics.

The weightlifting tournament is set to be held Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day, Chinese shooters Zhao Yinghui, Du Li and Wang Yifu would press hard for the gold medals in the shooting range.

"If they fail," Li said, "I will secure a gold for China in theday."

No one has any doubt on the strength of Chinese women lifters, who had a clean sweep of four gold medals from as many categories they took part in Sydney Olympic Games four years ago. With an expectation of at least three golds from Athens, Chinese weightlifting team is in high spirit for a rivalry on the platform.

China sent four strongwomen including Chen Yanqing in 58kg, LiuChunhong in 69kg and Tang Gonghong in over-75kg to challenge the limit of their lifting power in Athens.

"The principle of the training and trial is to vie with their own limit," said Chinese team headcoach Li Shunzhu. "They don't need to worry about the competitions or their rivals. They ought to attempt to lift the bar beyond their own limit."

The weightliting tournament, which will produce 15 gold medals including eight from men's division, runs through ten competition days from August 14 to 25, with rest days on August 17 and 22.

The total number of participants in the Athens Olympics weightlifting is 260, of which 170 are men and 90 women.
(Xinhua News  Agency  August 12, 2004)

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