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China's Li Fabin employs one-legged stance to win weightlifting gold

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China is 3-for-3 in weightlifting gold medals in Tokyo, and team members like Li Fabin are winning in style.

Li, who competes in the 61kg class, utilized a sort of flamingo stance en route to two Olympic records and a gold medal.

After a standard set up on his opening clean and jerk — lifting 166kg, or nearly three times his body weight — Li shifted his weight onto one leg, bringing his right leg completely off the ground, to lift 172kg and set an Olympic record. His combined 313kg in the the snatch and clean and jerk also set an Olympic record.

While the stance looked like he was flexing his strength for the judges, Li was actually using the move to correct his balance, something he does when he feels like there is a chance the lift can go wrong.

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Li Fabin of Team China competes during the Weightlifting - Men's 61kg Group A on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo International Forum on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Li Fabin of Team China competes during the Weightlifting - Men's 61kg Group A on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo International Forum on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

"I have very strong core muscles," Li said through a translator. "I know this move pleases the audience but I don’t suggest people make the same move. It could provoke injury."

This isn’t the first time Li has employed his specialty move to pull off a lift. But he also wants people to know he’s not trying to show off, calling himself a "low-profile person," according to the Associated Press.

Li followed up his unique first lift with a successful clean and jerk of 172kg, setting two Olympic records during his debut appearance in the 61kg weight class.

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China added two more gold medals in weightlifting: Chen Lijun in the men’s 67kg category and Hou Zhihui, who also set an Olympic record in the women’s 49kg class. All eight weightlifters for China are gold medal contenders in Tokyo, and right now the team is perched to pull off a historic sweep.

China has also been helped by a thinner crowd in the weightlifting competition this year, with North Korea skipping the 2020 Games due to the pandemic and other nations sending smaller squads due to doping regulations.

Contact Alyssa Hertel at ahertel@usatoday.com or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: China's Li Fabin wins Olympic weightlifting gold with one-legged lift