Two world titles do not seem to be enough for Chinese powerlifter Lei Liu, who is hoping to reach the podium once again at the Mexico City 2017 World Championships, from 30 September-6 October.
The 29-year-old is already preparing for the biggest competition he will take part in before going on to compete at his fourth Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.
“I started my training not very long ago, so my main preparation is adjusting myself by training with low intensity,” said Liu. “My goals for the World Championships are to find the right feeling and form for training and for competition.”
Despite being the reigning world champion, Liu prefers to take off pressure. “If I reach one of the first three places, that is good enough for me.”
Looking at Liu’s past competitions, he definitely has a good chance of winning this one too, though. In addition to his two previous World Championship titles, he also has three Paralympic golds from Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
“My greatest achievement in sporting so far is winning the gold medal and breaking the world record at the 2012 Paralympic Games.”
His toughest opponent in the men’s up to 72kg at Mexico City 2017 will be Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin, in one of powerlifting’s most exciting showdowns.
Liu claimed gold at Rio 2016, but Mohsin still set the world record of 227kg in his fourth lift on Brazilian soil.
They have been in close competition for many years, with Mohsin even beating Liu at the 2014 Asian Para Games. Despite this, there are no hard feelings between them.
“I respect Mohsin very much on the court, and we are good friends in life,” Liu said.
It is clear that the Chinese athlete finds strength and motivation in the sport. “I really like powerlifting, I started with the sport because I think it is able to fully express the power of man,” Liu explained.
Arguably, the power of man is thoroughly demonstrated in Liu, a man capable of lifting over three times his own bodyweight.
“My main motivation for training and competing is to prove my own value and pushing myself. I have two simple goals for the future, to train well and to live well,” he said.
More information can be found on the Mexico City 2017 website.