China to dispatch its biggest ever team to Vancouver

Published January 09, 2010

| Reuters

China, which topped the medals table at the last Summer Games in Beijing but has less pedigree in the winter version, sent 76 athletes to the Turin Olympics four years ago.

"We expect more than 90 athletes from China eventually to compete in Vancouver," Zhao Yinggang, director of the Chinese Winter Sports Administrative Center, told the Xinhua news agency.

"We now have 64 qualified skaters and 25 skiers after they booked all the tickets on offer for an association in short track speed skating, (freestyle skiing) and curling, and also earned berths for figure skating, speed skating and women's ice hockey."

China won two golds, four silvers and five bronze medals in Turin, including their first gold medal in a snow event won by freestyle skier Han Xiaopeng in the aerials.

Zhao dismissed fears the 24-year-old was in danger of missing out on the Games because of injury, saying she would be back on the ice in 10 days after missing the ongoing national championships because of a cut to her hand.

"Wang is going on with her preparations and she just skipped the Beijing event on doctor's advice," her coach Li Yan said.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Editing by John O'Brien)

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