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CTOC delegation at the flag-raising ceremony on Thursday.
Guangzhou Asian Games hero changes skates from roller to ice

06 Feb 2014
Sochi, Russia: Although his long pony tail immediately catches the attention, Chinese Taipei athlete Sung Ching-Yang is much more than a show pony. He is a winner and he is ambitious - and has proved that already just in making it to Sochi.

At the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, Sung won two gold medals in roller sports: the 300m time trial and 500m sprint.

Now, here in Sochi, he will be representing Chinese Taipei in speed skating, the long track version, and has set his sights high. When asked what his targets were for the Winter Olympics, he answered confidently: "To win the gold medal in the 500 metres."

Although this is a tall order, against the might of the Dutch and Koreans in particular, Sung does have form, having won a speed skating bronze medal in the 1000m at the Winter Universiade in Trentino last December.

Sung, 21, will be competing in the 500m and 1000m here in Sochi, and the end of his competition will mark the end of the pony tail.

"I have been growing it for three years, just for the Olympic Games," he said, at the Chinese Taipei NOC Team Welcome Ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

"It was my ambition to compete at an Olympic Winter Games and I said I would not cut my hair until I achieved this."

Having trained in China and Germany and competed on the World Cup circuit in Europe and North America, the Guangzhou Asian Games double gold medallist will not be here to make up the numbers.

Chinese Taipei will have three athletes in Sochi, in speed skating, short track and luge.
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