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High-tech approach set to make big splash
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14:03, August 09, 2007

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China's water sports camp will be equipped with IT engineers and high-tech sports science laboratories ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in a bid to top its previous best effort at Athens four years ago.

The specially designed labs will soon be installed at training bases of four water sports teams - canoeing, kayaking, yachting and sailing - to help them dissect their form and make subsequent adjustments for overall improvement.

"By analyzing the statistics we collect from daily training, the athletes will know how to better use their paddles, how to deal with the wind, the currents, and even the psychological ups-and-downs," China's Water Sports Administrative Center deputy director Liu Aijie said on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the China Aquatic Sports Technological Training Station, which was built by national IT brand Lenovo.

Liu is a firm believer in utilizing sports technology for water-based events.

He cited Chinese canoeists Meng Guanliang and Yang Wenjun, who won the nation's first-ever men's canoeing gold in the C2500m in Athens, as chief beneficiaries.

"Our water sports teams had collected a lot of data on athletes' performance at the Athens Games, but we do not have much expertise to analyze them and make them useful to our training for the Beijing Games. It's bit of a waste," Liu, who led the Chinese canoeing team to the Athens Games, said.

"I hope these labs could be helpful for us."

So far, the center has set up a lab in its training base in Qiandaohu in East China's Zhejiang Province, thanks to support from Lenovo.

The company has also built similar labs for China's athletics and mountaineering teams.

Liu said he was upbeat about prospects in Beijing and predicted many breakthroughs.

"The water sports teams will definitely outperform their records at the 2004 Athens Olympics," he told China Daily.

China achieved little success in aquatic sports in previous Olympics apart from Meng and Yang's victory. Its canoeing and sailing teams are expecting to win at least one goal each in Beijing.

Source: China Daily

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