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Liu pocketing her third consecutive gold in the quadrennial National Games

In the women’s 69kg division, Olympic champion Liu nailed the gold medal in her first jerk attempt, unnecessary to finish the last two attempts.
Her coach Ma Wenhua, also the head coach in the national team, persuaded her to stop lifting on the back course.

Liu showed disagreement expression in her face, but finally she gave up insisting.

“I still have the interest to lift, but my coach asked me to save strength for the world championships,” said Liu, three world records holder in this division.

“She had injuries in knees and back. It is not necessary to lift more,” Ma told Xinhua.

She intended to show her rivals, both domestic and abroad, how strong she was.

“I could have lifted more weight today if my coach had allowed me,” said Liu, who grew up in an apple orchard in Zhaoyuan City, east China’s Shandong Province.

Liu, representing host Shandong, beat dark horse Chen Ling of Jiangsu to win her third consecutive gold at the 11th Chinese National Games here on Monday.

Though Chen took the lead in the snatch, Liu was so strong in the jerk, as she was the last one to lift her first jerk attempt among 13 strongwomen.

She steadily hoisted 147kg to knock down the gold medal with a total of 267kg.

The winning weight was not too heavy for Liu as she lifted a total of 286kg in Beijing Olympics, a new world record, and 19kg more than Liu’s result here.

Though declaring her monopoly in the 69kg division, Liu welcomed the new faces like Chen and the bronze medalist Kang Yue.

“Chen performed well today, and the bronze medalist is excellent too. Stronger opponent in this division will do good to the development of our Chinese weightlifting,” said she.

Since winning her first Olympic gold in Athens, Liu has been plagued with a serious elbow injury in the 2006 Worlds in Santo Domingo, which forced her to stay away from the sport for almost one year.

Liu returned in 2007 brimming with confidence, Liu overwhelmed the Russian Olympic debutante in the Beijing Olympics, breaking three world records of the women’s 69kg division at 128kg in snatch, 158kg in jerk and 286kg in total.

“I want to be the first woman to win three gold medals in a row in the Olympic history,” said Liu before the National Games.

“I felt excited when thinking of making history.It is also a kind of my responsibility, so I finally persuade myself to fight for the London Games.”