Hungary’s Olympic champs to train in China
Hungary’s Olympic short-track speed skating champions Liu Shaolin Sandor and Liu Shaoang have announced they will prepare for next season in China.
The Liu brothers made the announcement on their Instagram accounts, adding that they will continue to be coached by China’s Zhang Jing, aka Lina.
“Lina has been on our side in our sport career as much as in our everyday life, therefore we feel toward her the biggest love and unconditional trust,” read the brothers’ announcement. “We would like to keep up the work and continue our journey together.”
Zhang was initially appointed as an advisor to the Hungarian national team in the summer of 2012, but following the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi began to work as the squad’s head coach.
She is credited with playing a key role in Hungary’s historic rise to prominence on the short track, guiding her skaters to the country’s first Winter Olympic gold medal (men’s 5,000m relay at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games) and its first individual Winter Olympic gold medal (Liu Shaoang’s 500m title at Beijing 2022).
In recognition of her outstanding achievements, she was named Coach of the Year at Hungary’s Athlete of the Year awards in 2019.
After the 2018 Winter Olympics, Zhang received the Officer’s Cross of Merit of the Republic of Hungary (civilian category), and following this year’s Beijing Winter Olympics she was awarded with the Hungarian Order of Merit Middle Cross.
Last month, Zhang announced she was ending her 10-year stay in the European country to return to China.
Reacting to the news, the Hungarian National Skating Federation issued a statement on its Facebook page on Monday which read: “The Hungarian short-track speed skating team’s preparations for the new season and the next Olympic cycle are mostly underway.
“Part of the team is preparing in Hungary. Liu Shaoang and Liu Shaolin Sandor will travel to China for a training camp with the coach of the Hungarian association, where they will start this year’s preparations with the Chinese national team and its coach, Zhang Jing Lina.”