Beijing Grand Prix: Liwan Yang’s home hopesChinese thrower sees home event as preparation for Asian Para Games 09 May 2018
“It’s not only a practice before the Asian Para Games, but also a chance for me to know the ability of my rivals. And of course, it’s a good opportunity to show my strength."
China’s Liwan Yang hopes to make a big impression at the Beijing Grand Prix this week (11-13 May) as she looks towards the 2018 Asian Para Games in five months’ time.
The 40-year-old won all three field events at the same meeting in the Chinese capital last year – the shot put, discus and javelin F54 – and set a new world record in the shot put F54 the year before that.
Now she’s relishing the chance to make a name for herself once again – bolstered by the two gold medals won at London 2017, her best result at a World Championships.
“It’s not only a practice before the Asian Para Games, but also a chance for me to know the ability of my rivals. And of course, it’s a good opportunity to show my strength,” said Yang, who believes the she has the ability to extend her shot put world record of 7.90m even further.
“I have confidence to try my best and try to do even better. I believe the Beijing Grand Prix is very important for each athlete,” she added.
The 40-year-old is certainly showing no sign of slowing down, having won javelin and shot put F54 gold in London last year at her third World Championships.
Now Yang is determined to build on that form as she looks ahead to this year’s Asian Para Games which take place in Jakarta, Indonesia, in October.
Four years ago in Incheon, South Korea, the former volleyball player smashed the javelin F54 world record with a throw of 18.45m, claiming three gold medals. Defending those titles remain a key priority.
“I still believe that I have ability to win three golds again,” said the three-time Paralympic champion, who also has one eye already on the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“I’ve got added confidence and also have expectations of a better performance at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.”
While Yang admits that her season so far has been “not so perfect” she is working hard to improve her throws. The prospect of returning to the place where she has had such success only serves to motivate her further.
“I have the pleasure to compete with so many excellent athletes and I will perform better with calmness and confidence.
“I really enjoy it. The effort I have made, the passion I received, the desire of success and faith to be stronger, all support me to continue to work hard.”