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China’s lone Winter Olympic champion at PyeongChang 2018, Wu Dajing. © China Daily

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COC President confident of athletic upgrade for Beijing 2022

Date : 19 Mar 2019

Beijing, China, March 19, 2019: China's sports minister is confident that the host country can give the people plenty to cheer about at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, reports the China Daily.

Gou Zhongwen, head of the General Administration of Sport of China and President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, says necessary measures have been put in place to build a competitive national team to achieve breakthrough results in 2022.

"To make the 2022 Winter Olympics a great success it's not just about making smooth organisation for the Games but also achieving the best possible athletic results," Gou said.

Gou elaborated that a decent performance at a home Olympics means Chinese athletes have to qualify for all 109 events at the 2022 Games with an aim to win the biggest number of medals in the country's Winter Olympics history.

China achieved its best medal haul at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics with 11 medals, including five gold, since its debut in 1980.

As a late starter in winter sports, China managed to qualify in only 55 events at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang,

Korea, finishing with nine medals, including one gold – from short track speed skater Wu Dajing in the men’s 500m.

However, an experimental programme of identifying and developing winter sports hopefuls from talented summer sports athletes made sound progress in 2018; 4,000 athletes were identified with transferable winter sports prowess out of 20,000 summer athletes participating in mass tests and tryout camps.

"By implementing this initiative we have dramatically deepened our talent pool and strengthened our competence in winter sports, as well as having expanded winter sports out from the country's northeastern region to the warmer southern provinces," Gou said.

China has also signed partnerships with 15 traditional winter sports powers, such as Norway, Finland and Sweden, to send national team athletes for long-term overseas training with their elite counterparts.

A strong team of 80 foreign coaches from Europe and North America have been working with Chinese teams on a scale never seen before, Gou said.

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