“I am proud of myself, because only I know how much effort was spent to make it as an athlete. I lost much time with my family and endured the loneliness and hardship."
Chinese powerlifter Yujiao Tan knows that the World Championships in Mexico City are approaching fast and is already following a tough training regime to reach her top form before the competitions kicks off on 30 September.
The 26-year-old will be defending her world title in the women’s up to 67kg from Dubai 2014.
“I know my goal clearly and am able to withstand all the hard work required to achieve my goals since I was young. Self-examination is something I do very often, as I think it is important to learn from my mistakes and from other people,” she said.
“After Rio, I had a very long vacation. Now I have recovered and started training again, and I feel good as my form is steady and still improving.”
Tan has been powerlifting for 14 years. In that time, she has claimed one gold and one silver at the Paralympics.
“I am proud of myself, because only I know how much effort was spent to make it as an athlete. While making the accomplishment, I lost much time with my family and endured the loneliness and hardship,” she said.
“However, everything I have gained today makes me feel that all the hard work is worth it. I am grateful to my country and association who provided opportunity and funds for my training and competition.”
Last year in Rio, Tan achived her goal of winning a Paralympic title and managed to break her own world record from the year before, making it 138.5 kg. That was her proudest moment as an athlete so far. Yet, she plans to take it even further in Mexico.
“I hope [to] win the gold medal, and to defend my record in women’s up to 67 kg, as that will be my second World Championship title. I also wish to renew the world record again,” she said.
“I have won Asian Para Games, Asian Championships, World Championships and Paralympic Games. But I still look forward to improving myself and getting closer to the greatest athletes out there.
“For the future, I hope to be able to compete at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and win. Powerlifting is my lifelong career and I try my best to succeed.”
She might only be 26, but Tan has had an impressive career so far, and there is a lot more to come from the world champion. With a desire and passion to always improve, the Chinese athlete will keep on working hard for herself and others.
“I have strong desire to succeed and better myself and my destiny. I want my family to be proud of me and I want to give them a better life. I want my life to be fulfilled.”
For more information on the World Para Powerlifting World Championships, visit the official Mexico City 2017 website.