Xu Lili is hoping to better her silver medal-winning performance from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and top the podium in the women´s up to 79kg at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Mexico City, from 2-8 December.
The Chinese left last year´s Paralympics with a bittersweet taste. Despite acknowledging winning a medal at her maiden Games is a big achievement, Xu was very close from winning gold. Nigeria's Rio 2016 gold medallist Bose Omolayo lifted 138kg, only 3kg than her opponent.
“I felt pity at that time, because I should have got a better place,” admitted Xu. “That inexplicable failure made me not know what to do. The lift made was not my best. However, this is a competition. What I can do is to improve myself and make a comeback.”
While she has not competed this season yet, Xu has been training hard for the World Championships. “I tried my best to finish my coach’s plan in every training session and improve my grades in a short period of time. Only then, I will get a better place in the competition,” she said.
But defeating Omolayo will not be an easy task. Not only did the Nigerian defeat Xu in Rio, but she also took the gold medal at the Asia Open Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2015. Xu ended second, but she does not hold any animosity towards her main competitor.
“I think [the rivalry is] supposed to be friendly. On the stage, we show our style and standard through competitions. But, off the stage, we are all the people who fight for our dreams, so we can be good friends,” Xu said.
She also hopes her result in Mexico City can be a sign of things to come at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“As for my goals for the World Championships, I hope I can show my best condition, perform better to get a desired place and be ready for competitions in the future. As for Tokyo 2020, my goal is definitely to get a gold medal,” she added.
More information on the World Para Powerlifting Championships is available on Mexico City 2017's website.