A Chinese delegation, headed by sports minister Liu Peng, arrived in Turin Wednesday evening.
Sports minister Liu Peng, on his first tour to head a Chinese sports delegation on the Olympic level, tipped the Turin Winter Olympics as a good chance to achieve better results and make better communication with other countries and regions.
"We expect that the Chinese athletes will do better and display a highly motivated spirit," Liu said.
Xiao Tian, deputy Chef-de-Mission of the Chinese delegation, said Wednesday evening that short track speed skating would claim a gold medal for China.
Gold medal hope has been pinned upon the short track speed skating team, spearheaded by Yang Yang (A) who awarded the first-ever Winter Olympic gold medal for China from the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.
Besides, Wang Meng, a 20-year-old, is also a medal hopeful as she claimed a 3,000 meters relay title in the 2003 World Championships and became the 500 meters gold medallist in the 2004 World Champs.
In 2002, Yang Yang (A) won both women's 500 meters and 1,000 meters at the 19th Winter Olympics and became the first winter Olympic gold medallist of China.
Apart from short track speed skating, Xiao predicted that free style aerials, speed skating and figure skating would also possibly win gold medals for China, but the number of golds would depend on the athletes' performance.
As for the flagman candidate for the Chinese delegation, Xiao said it would be announced in a press conference on Thursday.
During the coming Turin Olympics, the Chinese skaters will take part in all eight short track events, namely both men's and women's 500m, 1,000m, 1,500m, men's 5,000m and women's 3,000m relays, slated from February 12 to 25.
For the Turin Olympics slated from Feb. 10-26, China has dispatched 151 members, including 76 athletes who will vie for the honors in 47 events.
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2006)