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Li Hongli wins men's 77kg at national contest
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World champion Li Hongli sustained his momentum as he lifted a total of 364kg in the men's 77kg class at the men's National Weightlifting Championships in Quanzhou on Monday.

The 28-year-old Li, world champion in 2005 and bronze medallist in the worlds in 2007, snatched 163kg and hoisted 201kg in the jerk.

His total result was two kilograms more than the European Weightlifting Championships' winning result, which was made by Oleg Perepechenov of Russia.

"I felt my physical condition was quite good in the competition. It was the second time that I lifted 201kg in the jerk since 2007. I am happy with it," Li said.

"In the snatch, I felt the floor was a little bit slippery. That's why I failed in the second and third attempts."

Li was regarded as one of the gold medal hopeful in the national team, and he said his hard work was all for the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

Chen Shuangli of Zhejiang followed Li to take the silver with a total of 353kg and Lu Xiaojun of Tianjin claimed the bronze at 352kg.

Earlier of the day, Chinese City Games champion Liao Hui confirmed his power as he beat two Olympic champions to win the gold medal in the men's 69kg class.

The 21-year-old strongman of PLA team snatched 160kg and jerked 196kg to win the gold with a total of 355kg, eight kilograms more than the Olympic Champion Zhang Guozheng's winning result in the worlds in 2007.

"I've never thought of winning two Olympic champions. This result is the reflection of my hard work," Liao said.

Liao lifted a total of 342kg in the City Games in 2007, bettering two junior world record to make a perfect debut.

Veteran Zhang, Olympic champion in 2004, failed to jerk 168kg in his first and second attempts in the jerk. After he increased the weight to 169kg in the last attempt, he seems less confident and could not lift the barbell above his shoulders.

"I can't focus on the competition today, and I don't know why. I felt depressed now," Zhang said after the competition.

Except Zhang's defeat, Shi Zhiyong of Fujian, the Olympic champion in the men's 62kg class, also could not challenge Liao's dominance here as he took the silver at 346kg, nine kilograms less than Liao's.

Xiao Menghua of Hunan claimed the bronze at 335kg.

(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2008)

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