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China’s Gong Lijiao Targets World Shot Put Title Defense

SHENYANG, China — World champion Gong Lijiao is hoping to retain her title at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, later this year.

SHENYANG, China — World champion Gong Lijiao is hoping to retain her title at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, later this year.

Gong, who won Shot Put gold at the 2017 world championships in London, holds the best three marks in the world this season, including her world-lead of 19.84m.

The 30-year-old recently captured the event at China’s World Championships Trials with a mark of 19.16m and she is hoping to be at her best in Doha, come September.

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“My expectation for the Doha worlds is simple. I want to retain the world title,” Gong revealed, according to Xinhua.

“And I will also compete at the Diamond League finals. If it is possible, I want to win all the competitions I take part in,” she added.

At the Chinese trials on Friday in Shenyang, Gong opened the shot put competition with an effort of 17.56m in the first round, which was already good enough to win the event.

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She went on to heave 18.17m and 18.30m to pull even further away from the other competitors, as the best mark on the night was17.33m by Bian Ka.

After scratching on her fourth attempt, Gong delivered marks of 18.78m and 19.16m to close out the contest and the 2012 Olympic silver medalist said she was happy with her overall efforts on the day.

“I am satisfied with today’s performance,” she told reports after the win.

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“The Shenyang Olympic Stadium is one of my favorite venues. I won the gold medal at the 2013 National Games here and last month I took the victory at the National Championships here too.

“Next, I will focus on my build-up for the World Championships in Doha.”

Meanwhile, in addition to her world-leading mark for 2019, Gong has five of the world’s top 10 best performances in the women’s shot put this campaign.

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She also has solid marks of 19.79m, 19.78m, 19.51m and 19.44m on the term.

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Covers meetings in the United States, including the USA Championships, meetings in Florida and Miami, as well as promoting on social media @worldtrack,

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