Discus thrower Li Yanfeng to compete in China's National Games

Shenyang (China), Aug 26 (IANS) World discus champion Li Yanfeng will compete in the 12th Chinese National Games slated for Aug 31 to Sep 12 despite suffering from a haunting waist injury.

"Li is suffering from lumbar disc herniation. Becuase of the haunting injury, her left leg is three centimetres thinner than her right leg," said her coach Zhang Jinglong told Xihua Monday.

"During her recent training, Li could constantly achieve marks of over 60 metres and I believe she can throw better marks in the coming competition."

The 34-year-old Li, world titlist at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, suffered from the waist injury after the London Olympics and never managed to maintain systemic training.

As the defending champion Li could compete in the World Championships which finished last week in Moscow, but finally decided to withdraw from the biennial tournament due to her poor form.

During the Aug 10-18 Moscow Worlds, Li was receiving physiotherapy while training with coach Zhang in the Yabuli resort, in northeastern China, to build up for the National Games and try to defend the title she claimed for her hometown Heilongjiang four years ago with a winning mark of 66.40 metres.

"I am very satisfied with Li Yanfeng's training in the past 10 days. As an injury-bothered veteran, she showed great determination and will power in the training which really impressed me a lot," said Zhang.

Li claimed the title at the 2011 Daegu Worlds with 66.52m, delivering the first worlds' gold medal in field events for China since Huang Zhihong's victory in the women's shot put in 1993.

In the London Olympics, Li threw 67.22 meters to pocket a bronze medal, which could be upgraded to a silver as the runner-up Darya Pishchalnikova of Russia was tested positive for banned substance.

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