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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 16:09, March 13, 2005
Chinese "flower on ice" starts building China's new-generation skaters
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While China's Winter Olympic champion Yang Yang (A) is building up for the Turin Games next year, a former Olympic medalist has already began to foster the new generation of Chinese short track speed skaters.

A member of the Olympic silver-medal relay team in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City Games, Sun Dandan retired last July and began to work with Jilin provincial skating association as a short track speed skating coach.

Sun, a native in Jilin province in northeast China, was in the Chinese team in 3,000m short track speed skating relay in 2002 Winter Games, with Yang Yang (A), Yang Yang (S) and Wang Chunlu, who were dubbed at the time the country's "flowers on ice".

Yang Yang (A) pulled off China's first ever Winter Olympic gold medals then as she won in the 500m and 1,000m.

"I decided to choose the coaching career and teach kids who almost know nothing about how to skate," said the 26-year-old Sun, three years junior of Yang Yang (A).

"I want to teach them from the very beginning and tell them the right way, laying solid technique foundation for them," said Sun, who is now a track steward at the ongoing world championships here.

Sun's view echoed with the idea of national head coach Xin Qingshan.

Xin, who led China to the top of the podium in Salt Lake City, said China lack good grass-roots coaches.

"China lacks grass-roots coaches, let alone the good ones, which results in the irregularity in the basic training," he said.

"The poor basic training will hinder skaters from developing to the top level," he added.

When speaking of her group of students aged between eight to 12,a smiling Sun said she enjoys her time with the kids.

"In the beginning, I did not know how to deal with a group of noisy kids and now I have been quite an experienced teacher," she said. "It is interesting to be with them."

Sun's students have achieved pretty good results in the national elementary school championships with one claiming gold, a proud Sun added.

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