This is Witness the Wonder, the Preview to the 2023 World Champs in Budapest for Day 25, May 12, 2023.  

For the next 20 days, RunBlogRun will be posting a story a day on the buildup to the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, from August 19-August 27, 2023.

Today, we will speak about Lijao Gong.

Lijao Gong took the gold medal in the Women’s shot put in the much-delayed Olympics, Tokyo 2021, and became the first athlete in China to ever win a track and field athlete.

LiJao Gong has spent 21 years training for the shot put. She has competed in eight world championships, winning two, silver in two, bronze in three, and her worst finish, sixth back in Osaka in 2007. In her four Olympic appearances, she took gold (2021), silver (2012), bronze (2008), and 4th in 2016!

After her first gold in London 2017 World Champs, LiJao told the media,  “I have been dreaming about winning gold at World Championships and Olympics since I began practicing shot put throw.” “I did it at World Championships today and will do better in the Olympics.”

LiJao Gong wins her first gold, London 2017 WC, photo by Mike Deering/TheShoe Addicts

This writer has seen all of her Olympic appearances and (2008, 2012, 2016 Live, and 2021 remotely) and all 8 of her World Championship appearances Live.

LiJao Gong is part of one of the biggest stories in Global Athletics, the rise of Chinese athletics in technical events over the last three decades.

Way back in 1975, one of the very first competitions between the US and China took place in track and field. The US team dominated the meet, but it was clear then that China could become a great athletics power.

Over the past five decades, China has developed athletes in the sprints, jumps, throws, distances and walks.

LiJao Gong has thrown 19.66 meters so far this season, with five competitions. In 2022, LiJao Gong was surprised by the big throw of Chase Ealey, who took gold on her first throw of 20.49m. Li Jao had improved, throw after throw, but could only reach 20.39m, and her quest to have three gold medals in a row was ruined.

This writer suspects that LiJao Gong will be ready to throw the big steel orb with Chase Ealey in Budapest, and we should see some real fireworks there! The 33-year-old thrower would love to add another medal to her medal cabinet, and Budapest would be the place to do it!

Hold onto your seats, friends; the Women’s shot put will be something to behold.

To read all of our earlier stories in Witness the Wonder, numbers 1-24:

1. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 1; Welcome to the World Champs! https://runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-1-welcome-to-the-world-champs.html

2. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 2, Meeting the Stars of Hungarian Athletics! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-2-meeting-the-stars-of-hungarian-athletics.html

3. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 3, Why you should go to Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3.html

4. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 4, Mondo Duplantis & Nafi Thiam are Europe’s finest; how will they do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-3-mondo-duplantis-nafi-thiam-are-europes-finest-how-will-they-do-in-budapest.html

5. Witness the Wonder, World Championships Budapest 2023, Day 5, Just What Will Faith Kipyegon Do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-championships-budapest-2023-day-5-just-what-will-faith-kipyegon-do-in-budapest.html

6. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 6, Mutaz Essa Barshim. Will he take a 4th straight title in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-mutaz-essa-barshim-will-he-take-a-4th-straight-title-in-budapest.html

7. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Outdoor Champs Budapest 2023, Day 7; Noah Lyles wants to burn up the track in Budapest in August! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-outdoor-champs-budapest-2023-noah-lyles-wants-to-burn-up-the-track-in-budapest-in-august.html

8. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 8, all About the National Athletics Center https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-8-all-about-the-national-athletics-center.html

9. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 9: Meet Anita Marton, Hungarian star shot putter with deadly last-round throws! What will she do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-9-meet-anita-marton-hungarian-star-shot-putter-who-has-deadly-last-round-throws-what-will-she-do-in-budapest.html

10. Witness the Wonder, 2023 World Athletics Outdoor Championships, Day 10: Karsten Warhold is back; what will he do in Budapest over the 400-meter hurdles? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-2023-world-athletics-outdoor-championships-day-10-karsten-warhold-is-back-what-will-he-do-in-budapest-over-the-400-meter-hurdles.html 

11. Witness the Wonder World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 11; Wayde Van Niekerk is coming to Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-11-wayde-van-niekerk-wr-holder-olympic-champions-two-time-world-champion-at-400-meters-has-returned-and-he-wants-to-run-a-sizz.html 

12. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 12, Neeraj Chopra, India’s Javelin star, will he move up to gold in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-neeraj-chopra-indias-javelin-star-will-he-move-up-to-gold-in-budapest.html,

13. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 13: Ryan Crouser overcomes a rainy day at the Drake Relays! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/04/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-13-ryan-crouser-overcomes-a-rainy-day-at-the-drake-relays.html 

14. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Outdoor Championships, Budapest, Day 14: Five Reasons to Go to the World Championships in Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-outdoor-championships-budapest-day-14-five-reasons-to-go-to-the-world-championships-in-budapest.html

15. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 15, Old and New Stars in Hammer could shine the first weekend of World Champs for Hungary! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-old-and-new-stars-in-hammer-could-shine-first-weekend-of-world-champs-for-hungary.html

16. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships, Budapest 2023, Day 16: Five Ways to Better Enjoy the Budapest World Champs! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-15-five-ways-to-better-enjoy-the-budapest-world-champs.html

17. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 17; Ferdinand Omanyala wants to be on the 100m medal podium this summerhttps://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-17-ferdinand-omanyala-wants-to-be-on-the-100m-medal-podium-this-summer.html

18. Witness the Wonder, World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 18: What will Sifan Hassan do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-18-what-will-sifan-hassan-do-in-budapest.html

19. Witness the Wonder World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 19; Tomas Walsh is from New Zealand, and you better watch him in the Men’s Shot Put final in Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-19-tomas-walsh-is-from-new-zealand-and-you-better-watch-him-in-the-mens-shot-put-final-in-budapest.html 

20. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, Day 20, Grant Holloway wants to Three-Peat in Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-20-grant-holloway-wants-to-three-peat-in-budapest.html 

21. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Budapest 2023, Day 21, Five Big Stories for the World Champs in Budapest! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-budapest-2023-day-21-five-big-stories-for-the-world-champs-in-budapest.html 

22. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Budapest 2023, Day 22, Six Stories on Hungarian Athletes and their Dreams for Budapest 2023! https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-budapest-2023-day-22-six-stories-on-hungarian-athletes-and-their-dreams-for-budapest-2023.html 

23. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Championships, Budapest 2023, Day 23: Femke Bol What Will She do in Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-championships-budapest-2023-day-23-femke-bol-what-will-she-do-in-budapest.html 

24. Witness the Wonder, World Outdoor Athletics Budapest 2023, Day 24, What Plans Does Joshua Cheptegai Have for Budapest? https://www.runblogrun.com/2023/05/witness-the-wonder-world-outdoor-athletics-budapest-2023-day-24-what-plans-does-joshua-cheptegai-have-for-budapest.html

The World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, will be held August 19-27, 2023, and tickets are available now! Click here to learn more about ticket sales: https://tickets.wabudapest23.com/

RunBlogRun suggests a wonderful book on Hungary, The Hungarians, A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, by Paul Lendvai, Translated by Ann Major, Princeton University Press, www.pupress.princeton.edu.

Need tips for Visiting Budapest and the rest of Hungary? Please go here! Visit Hungary-Wellspring of Wonders! https://visithungary.com/

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