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Official: China aims high in water sports in Beijing Olympics
21:54, July 24, 2008

China water sports athletes are undergoing designed training in the country with an aim to snatch more gold medals in Beijing Olympics than in Athens four years ago, China Water Sports Center Director Wei Di told Xinhua in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

"We have several events where China can try to get the highest the titles," he said

He also said that China water sports had achieved considerable progress in rowing, canoeing and kayaking over the last nine years, constituting a serious challenge to the Western countries, which have dominated the disciple for several decades.

"Four gold medals will be open for grab in the first days of the Olympics. The first two gold medals have nothing to do with China. We are rather weak in this fields. But we can try to win the second day's final racing in kayak one women and canoe two men," he said, hinting that athletes to compete in the events have the potential to win gold medals.

Wei Di attributed the achievements made by China in slalom racing to the country's huge investment in the area.

"We now have 10 competition venues in the country and five of them are up to international standards," he said.

In flat water racing, Yang Wenjun and Meng Guanliang, who won the C2 500 meter race in Athens Olympics, are most likely to succeed in defending their title in Beijing because they are now in their best shape.

As for rowing, Wei said that Chinese athletes can try to win medals in LW2X, W4X and LM4-, adding that M8+ is also an event where China can try to secure a medal.

The Chinese rowers will go and live near the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park on August 3 to prepare for the racing which starts on August 9, Wei Di said.

He did not speculate on the number of gold medals the Chinese athletes can get in water sports in the coming regatta, but said that China aims high and is trying to accomplish the goals.

Source:Xinhua

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