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Jiang felt that he couldn't make it. 175kg was too much for him.
His arms were beginning to fail him, and his body was losing control. Everything he was doing was all by instinct. His arms, torso, and legs were shaking. Every inch of skin, every piece of muscle, every drop of blood, and every little cell was struggling to hold the weight.
Give it up. You can't do that, a voice said in Jiang's mind.
It's 175kg. You have never tried that before. You have already done a nice job. Even if you can't lift it, you are good, another voice rang.
Give it up. You already got the silver, you have gained something. That's enough, the first voice said again, seeking reasons to persuade Jiang.
Jiang's eyes darkened. He was not sure how long he could manage to stand here. Once he had raised the barbell above his head, he had used up all his strength. He couldn't hold it anymore. He decided that that was enough. He had gone through so much. The end was here. He could no longer stand it.
As he came to his decision, he suddenly found a woman sitting in the stands with a two-year old girl in her arms. The baby girl was staring at him.
Why are they here? Jiang immediately recognized the women as his wife, and the little girl as his daughter.
My baby girl is looking at me! Jiang was shocked.
My girl is looking at me! She must see me win! How can I give up like this? I can't disappoint my daughter! Hold on! I have to win! I must be strong in front of my baby! Come on...Come on!
Jiang suddenly felt all his power come back to his body. It was the power of hope, strong enough to fight against the 175kg barbell.
"Ahhhhhh..." Jiang roared like a lion. He stretched out his arms to hold the barbell tight, and used every fiber in his body to maintain his balance. His body was still shaking, but it was shaking with excitement. His face looked ferocious, but he didn't care. He saw nobody but his daughter. At this moment, he was not only fighting for himself, but also for his family, and especially for his daughter!
See, baby? Daddy doesn't give up! Daddy will win! Jiang felt that he had done something great. He was a successful athlete, but even more than that, he was an awesome father.
As the bell rang, Jiang dropped the barbell to the ground, making the stage shake. But the deafening cheering from the audience covered the noise.
"We win! You did it! We win!" Li rushed out on stage roaring at Jiang, jumping with joy like a kid.
In the Group A competition arena, Fang lowered his head, upset with the result. The cheering from the Group B audience had given him the result.
"How could Group A have defeated Group B? Besides, it was Jiang's first time in the 62kg competition. A newcomer won the game! If people hear about this they are going to make fun of me!"
As Fang was murmuring to himself, his coach came to his side and comforted him. "Don't worry, you have done a good job! Your competitor was just very ambitious. Few 62kg weightlifters could lift 175kg."
Among the Group B audience, a little girl was busy clapping her hands. Even though she had no idea why everyone was clapping and cheering, she just followed the others. But what she did know was that the man standing on the stage was her father, and her father looked euphoric.
She also had no clue why daddy was so happy, but because he was happy, she was as well, and so she laughed in delight.
Coach Song was not there that morning.
The lowest weight class was 56kg, and the Hanbei Provincial Weightlifting Team didn't have any participants for that level. The second lowest was 62kg, and the team only had one participant, the forcefully downgraded Jiang. To Coach Song, Jiang was there as a bystander. T him there was no need to show up for that contest.
The Provincial Team was famous for its 77kg and 85kg weight class participants, but they also had competitive lifters for the 69kg divison. The 69kg and 77kg contests were held in the afternoon, while the 85kg contest was the next morning. Because of this scheduling, Coach Song concentrated on those three games.
Coach Song looked at his watch. It was only eleven in the morning, but he decided to have an early lunch and head to the arena. Since the weighing period began two hours ahead of the formal competition, lifters started preparing around noon to get ready for the later contest. As the chief coach, Song also presented in the afternoon.
Song packed everything up and was ready to leave. He was already one step out of the door when the phone on his office desk suddenly rang. Song hesitated for two seconds, then finally turned around and answered it.
"Coach Song, I'm Liu. Here is some good news: JIang won the gold!" a joyful voice reported with excitement.
"Say that again?" Song thought he might have heard something wrong.
"Jiang won the 62kg championship!" the speaker repeated.
"No way!" Coach Song could not believe the result. To him, an old lifter who was downgraded on such short notice was lucky enough to make the proper weight. As for getting a gold medal, you could forget it!
"It's all true. Jiang won the game. 141kg for snatch and 175kg for clean & jerk. His total result was 316kg," Liu said, giving a series of numbers.
"316kg? For Jiang? How could that be possible! Stop bullshxtting Liu, are you crazy?" Coach Song thought Liu was making fun of him, which annoyed him.
If it was 69kg Jiang, Song would not doubt that he had lifted 316kg. But Jiang was only 62kg now. How could he have managed to lift 316kg? Song would rather die than believe this.
As a professional coach, he knew what that number meant. For lifters in the 62kg weight class, only top-level athletes could lift 316kg. Jiang was 32 years old, which meant he was already past his prime. Furthermore, he had forced himself to move down to the 62kg level, so he shouldn't have had much energy left. Song never would have believed that a man in such bad condition could reach the top level with a surprising performance.
"I'm not lying, coach, how could I..." Liu was anxious about the misunderstanding. "There is going to be an Award Ceremony, let me take some pictures and send them to you!"
Several minutes later, Coach Song received Liu's pictures. In the picture, Jiang was standing in the middle holding a championship cup and flowers. Song expanded the picture, and the word "Champion" was vaguely visible.
"Oh my god, Jiang did win!"
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