China eye "new breakthrough" at Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/11/10 16:06:46

Chinese athletes will try to make "new breakthrough" at next year's Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, a senior sports official told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview.

"We will try to achieve good results, make new breakthrough and impress the world with our fighting spirits," said Gao Zhidan, deputy director of China's General Administration of Sport.

Gao admitted it would be difficult for the Chinese delegation to have satisfactory performance as the expectation from the public might be higher than before.

"As the host of the 2022 Winter Games, we would like to have impressive performance at the Pyeongchang Games, but it's not easy," said Gao. "There are 102 events altogether at this Games, while we only have medal hopes in a few sports."

Chinese short track skaters, who have contributed nine out of 12 gold medals that China have claimed in the past Winter Games, will spearhead Chinese medal contenders at Pyeongchang, but they are going to face tough challenge from their South Korean counterparts.

"We have done pretty well in short track in the past Games, but South Korea is also a powerhouse in this sport and their skaters will be competing on home soil. At the same time, skaters from Europe are getting stronger and stronger. For sure it will be difficult for us to repeat our success in this sport," Gao said.

Chinese athletes were also considered as medal contenders in some events of figure skating, speed skating, freestyle skiing, in which they have captured one gold each in the last three Games.

"Generally speaking, we are only competitive in a few winter sports. We would like to help our athletes have good experience in Pyeongchang and get well prepared for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, but we won't give up any chance to win a medal," Gao added. "We are not afraid of losing, but we have to show our fighting spirits."

Posted in: OLYMPICS

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