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Chinese rescuers ready for slalom races in Olympics
12:08, August 03, 2008

A team of 16 Chinese rescuers have been well equipped and are ready for the coming slalom races at the Shunyi Olympic Canoeing/Kayakiing Park, a team leader told Xinhua at the park on Saturday.

"We are a team of 16 life-saving experts from provinces of China. We have received strict training from a foreign expert and we are ready for any emergency," said Yu Ligong, who is heading the team.

"Most of our team members are slalom athletes, slalom race coaches, or principals of water-training schools. They have expertise and professional skills to save lives of athletes who fall into the rapid water," Yu said.

He said that the team had been trained during the Good Luck Beijing events in 2007 and their helmet, life-saving jackets are quite professional and they would guarantee 100 percent safety of athletes' lives during the races.

"We have permits from the Red Cross organization and life-saving agencies," Yu added.

He said that during Olympic races, all the rescuers would be on duty and on alert to ensure smooth operation of the venue.

"We have six groups during the races. Nobody is allowed to leave his post when competitions are underway. In emergencies, if any, we will jump into the water to snatch the unlucky in the shortest time possible," the 42-year-old team leader said.

Of course, the job is also rewarding.

He said that being rescuers at the Beijing Olympics would provide a golden chance for them to watch the world's first-class races and learn from them.

"This will of course benefit them and be helpful to their future teaching and practicing," he said.

The rescuers, aged from 28 to over 40, would pay most attention to the athletes placed rather backward in world rankings, he said.

Source: Xinhua

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