China names largest ever squad for Asian Games

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Olympic champions Liu Xiang and Lin Dan will lead China's assault to win the most medals at the Asian Games for the eighth straight time as China unveiled on Tuesday a 1,454-member delegation, the largest ever in history, for next month's Asiad.

A total of 35 Olympic gold medalists were included in the 1,454-member delegation for the 16th Asian Games which will take place in southern Chinese city of Guangzhou from November 12 to 27.

About two thirds of the 977 athletes did not take part in the 2008 Olympics nor the Asian Games held four years ago in Doha, Qatar.

"We hope to spot young talents at the Asian Games and prepare them for the 2012 London Olympics," said Duan Shijie, head of the Chinese delegation.

Bowling player Mi Zhongli, 49, is the eldest athlete, and dragon boat drummer Xia Shiying is the youngest, aged 13.

More than 14,000 athletes, trainers and coaches from 45 countries and regions are expected to take part in the Guangzhou Asian Games, vying for 476 gold medals in 42 sports.

Guangzhou is the second Chinese city to host the Asian Games. Beijing staged the quadrennial sporting event in 1990.

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