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Chinese Paralympic powerlifters eye more golds in Beijing
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The Chinese Paralympic powerlifting team, which collected five gold medals in Sydney and Athens respectively, tries to get more in Beijing, said head coach Li Weipu after Friday's training.

"Interestingly, the number of the golds we claimed in Sydney and Athens was the same as that for the Chinese weightlifting team in those summer Olympics," Li said.

"We are hoping to achieve the same result as the Chinese weightlifting team did in the Beijing Olympics," he added.

The Chinese weightlifters won eight golds and one silver in the just-concluded 29th summer Olympics, reaping medals in all the categories they competed.

"It's difficult for us to repeat that glory for China in the Beijing Olympics," said Li. "Because we do not have obvious advantages. In powerlifting, power is the only thing that matters and skills are not important."

The most hopeful Chinese powerlifters are Zhang Haidong in men's 82.5kg category and Li Ruifang in women's 82.5kg division.

Zhang, 39, was the gold medallist in 1996, 2000 and 2004 Paralympic Games, while Li is a two-time Paralympic champion.

"Li has been involved in the sport for 16 years," said the head coach. "The most unimaginable thing was that she resumed training 10 days after her baby was born."

"Even though the ordinary people pay more attention to the disabled athletes' participation than their results, the athletes themselves will play all out for a podium finish as they have been training so hard in their loving sport," said Li.

The Beijing Paralympic Games will run from Sept. 6-17.

(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2008)

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