China eyes ‘break­through’ at the 2018 Win­ter Games

Global Times - Weekend - - SPORTS -

China is aim­ing for “a break­through” at Pyeongchang Win­ter Olympic Games but al­ready has half an eye on the Bei­jing 2022 Games, a se­nior sports of­fi­cial said.

Un­like the Sum­mer Olympic Games, in which China ex­cels, the coun­try is not a heavy­weight in win­ter sports and won just three gold medals at the Sochi Games in 2014.

But win­ter sports are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar in China and with Bei­jing stag­ing the Win­ter Olympic Games in 2022, ex­pec­ta­tions are ris­ing.

“With the 2018 Win­ter Games com­ing soon, we would like to have an im­pres­sive per­for­mance in Pyeongchang, but it’s not easy,” Gao Zhi­dan, deputy direc­tor of China’s Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport, told the Xin­hua news agency.

Chi­nese short-track skaters will again spear­head the coun­try’s medal hunt in South Korea, but Gao is wary of the threat from the host na­tion and im­prov­ing Euro­pean com­peti­tors.

And he urged pa­tience as China at­tempts to be­come com­pet­i­tive in a wider range of win­ter Olympic dis­ci­plines.

“We are not afraid of los­ing and we can still get up af­ter fail­ure,” Gao said.

“We would like to help our ath­letes have a good ex­pe­ri­ence in Pyeongchang and get well pre­pared for the Bei­jing Olympic Games in 2022.”

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