Chinese powerlifter Lei Liu won the Paralympic gold for a third consecutive time at Rio 2016 after lifting 221kg, only 1kg ahead of Iraq’s silver medallist Rasool Mohsin, in the men’s up to 72kg.
The 29-year-old, who also sealed the world title in 2014, won his first Paralympic gold on home soil at Beijing 2008 and followed that up with another title at London 2012.
After sealing his third Paralympic gold, Liu said that “there was no celebration. Many of my teammates were still competing.
“What I did after I finish my participation was to help them, in all the ways I could, and shared my experience because I wanted them to win too.”
Despite being the strong favourite to win gold, Liu already knew before flying to Rio it was not going to be easy task.
“I was aware it was going to be extra hard for me to win gold this time. Though I won the gold at last, I must say that Iraq’s Mohsin challenged me more than ever before!”
These were Liu’s three top moments from Rio 2016.
1. Seeing the Chinese flag being raised and hearing the national anthem being played during the medal ceremony.
“No one can stay calm during those moments.”
2. Meeting other athletes and friends coming from all over the world.
“We got to know many of the other powerlifters at previous Games. In Rio, we shared our training updates and also chatted about our personal lives.”
3. The moment I realised the referee in Rio was the same from Beijing and London.
“He has witnessed my victory three times. It was a wonderful coincidence.”