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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 10:15, February 04, 2007
Shen and Zhao asked to stay
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The Chinese national team is pursuading former figure skating world champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo to stay, said the head coach Yao Bin on Saturday.

Shen and Zhao were crowned for the fourth time in the pairs' title of the 6th Asian Winter Games before questions on their retirement were raised again.

"It is not decided yet. Everyone in the team is trying to persuade them to stay. So it is too early to say they are going to retire," said Yao.

Shen, 28, and Zhao, 34, once said they would temporarily leave the national team after this year's world championships in March in Tokyo, Japan. They took two bronze medals in Salt Lake City and Turin Olympic Games and two world titles in 2002 and 2003.

The pair started to ponder retirement after they finished third in Turin Winter Olympics in 2006 but an Olympic gold is always the reason that makes them hesitate.

"We hope we can finish our skating career with an Olympic gold medal. In Turin, we were more or less limited due to my injury," Zhao once said. He suffered a torn Achilles's tendon but recovered miraculously right before the Turin Games.

No matter when they will hang up their skates, they will never return for the Asian Games.

The Chinese ace pair, dancing to the music of Meditation from Thais, collected 126.06 points for their free skate, winning the title in a total of 195.55.

"We tried our best today and are satisfied with it although it was not perfect," said Shen.

"But anyways, it is a memorable experience since it will be our swan song in the Games," she said.

Source: Xinhua

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