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Olympic 20km race walk champion Liu Hong told World Athletics she is eager to return to competition after the COVID-19 pandemic brought global sport to a halt.
"I'm really looking forward to racing, and I feel even more appreciative now of the things I have been used to. I miss the feeling of competing with other race walkers all over the world," she said.
Liu Hong should currently be busy preparing to defend her title at the Tokyo Olympic Games, but the tournament's postponement until 2021 has forced her to adjust her plans. However, the three-time world champion sees it as a chance to refine her training.
"Usually, June is the time when training is the most difficult and stressful, and it is the key preparation stage for major competitions in August and September," said the 33-year-old.
"But all the training this year has returned to basic practise, leaving my body in good shape. I've also had more time to try things in training that may make me perform better in future."
The postponement also disrupted Liu's plan for her family. Originally planning to buy a house in Shenzhen, she instead relocated to Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan Province earlier this year, in order to take advantage of the city's 2,000m altitude and pleasant climate while in lockdown.
"Moving with my family to Kunming has been the biggest change for me so far this year," she noted. "The weather here is perfect for training, and we are changing our previous views on altitude training."
"Life doesn't always go smoothly, but we should face it with positivity every day," Liu added.(06/29/2020) ⚡AMP