Eastday-ChinaplaysdownexpectationsforrepeateddominanceatLondonOlympics

  Home    News    ArticleAdvancedWeb DictionaryChina plays down expectations for repeated dominance at London Olympics2012-07-27 09:52LONDON, July 25– China has put its name down in a repeat of dominatingperformance on home ground as the clock ticks down to London Olympics.”It wont be a Beijing do-over for us. We face unprecedented difficulties incatching up with the gold haul of Beijing without home advantage,” said XiaoTian, deputy chef de mission of the Chinese Olympic delegation.”But I have full confidence in Chinese athletes and believe they will haveexcellent achievements in London,” he said at a press briefing on Wednesday.Xiao kept a lid on soaring expectations, encouraging new breakthroughs ofChinese athletes without making any bold predictions.”I hate to predict how many gold medals we are going to claim,” said Xiao,laughing a little as he added: “I did it in the past but every time it turnedout to be wrong.””I dont want myself to be labeled as crow mouth just like the famoussoccer player Pele,” he added.Xiao hoped Chinese athletes would keep their mood light, train even harderand brace themselves to give a best performance in London.China fielded a streamlined London team with 396 athletes including 29 goldmedallists from the Beijing Games. The players, 171 male and 225 female, are tocompete in 212 disciplines of 23 sports expect for football, equestrian andhandball.According to Xiao, the average age of Chinese athletes is 24.6, with swimmerQiu Yuhan the youngest at 14 and trapshooting player Liu Yingzi eldest at41.Most of Chinese athletes had moved in the Olympic village in London with foursports teams still training in the cities nearby.Four years ago, China topped the medals table with 51 golds at home, when itsent a record-breaking 639 athletes to compete in the Beijing Games. It outshonethe United States which finished with 36 golds but edged China in overall medals110 to 100.Xiao played down Chinas chances to hold off the United States for anothertime, adding the United States is a traditional sports powerhouse which outpacesChina in many of the Olympic sports such as team balls events.Thirty-eight of Chinas table-topping 51 gold medals in Beijing came in tabletennis, badminton, diving, shooting, gymnastics and weightlifting which thecountry has long dominated in.But in London, China is looking forward to breakthrough in what areconsidered more prestigious Olympic sports, including swimming and track andfield.”We do have expectations on breakthroughs in such sports as swimming,fencing, judo and cycling,” Xiao said, citing overwhelming Chinese swimmer SunYang and 110m hurdler Liu Xiang.Sun, who smashed Grant Hacketts decade-old 1,500m world record at theShanghai World Championships last year, is tipped to become Chinas firstOlympic male swimming champion. Currently he ranks world number one in the 400m,800m and 1,500m freestyle.Liu, whose back injury forced him out of the London Diamond League finalearlier this month, has bounced back in true champion style as he registered aworld record-tying time of 12.87 seconds at last years World Championships.”What I worry most is the team ball events which we still have a lot toimprove in order to be a true sports powerhouse,” Xiao said.The five team ball events China would participate in London are mens andwomens basketball, womens hocky, womens water polo and womensvolleyball.Xiao confirmed basketball player Yi Jianlian would carry the flag for Chinaat the Games opening ceremony, adding the NBA player has good sport ethics andwell represents the image of China, and most importantly, would have impact onhuge Chinese basketball fans.Yi, 24, started his career as a professional player in south ChinasGuangdong Province. He joined NBA in 2007 and played for the Washington Wizardsbefore he came back to China amid the NBA lock-out.Whats interesting, the national flag bearers for Chinese delegations since1984 have been selected from the mens basketball team.Wang Libin was Chinas flag bearer in the opening ceremony of 1984 LosAngeles Olympic Games, Song Tao for 1988 Seoul Olympics, Song Ligang for the1992 Barcelona Games, Liu Yudong for 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 2000 SydneyOlympic Games. Former NBA star Yao Ming was the flag-bear of the Chinese sportsdelegation at both Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004.”We will take into consideration to appoint a woman athlete to carry the flagin the future based on her impressive sports record and personal influence,”Xiao noted.He expressed satisfaction over the environment and catering in the Olympicvillage, adding Chinese athletes would enjoy competing and enhancing exchangeswith competitors worldwide during the Games slated from July 27 to August 12.Source:Xinhua Netdocument.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src=http://tongji.eastday.com/webdig.js?z=1 type=text/javascript%3E%3C/script%3E”));wd_paramtracker(“_wdxid=000000000000000000000000000000000000000000”)

Author: 牛考

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