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China's gold prospects for 2008 Olympics
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China is widely expected to beat the United States and Russia to top the medal standings of the 2008 Olympic Games.


Following is a list of events in which China is good enough to win gold medals.


Table tennis


China grabbed three gold medals in table tennis at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and the number for 2008 is supposed to be four.


In the men's competition, China has Wang Liqin, Ma Lin and Wang Hao. In women's events, China boasts top players like Zhang Yining, Guo Yue and Li Xiaoxia and Wang Nan.




China notched up three titles in Athens and the host country is aiming to win four or five in Beijing.


In the men's singles, Li Dan and Bao Chunlai are both capable of winning gold. In the women's singles, China can still rely on veteran Zhang Ning and Xie Xingfang. The women squad is backed by the 2007 world championships sensation Zhu Ling.


In the women's doubles, Chinese pairs Yang Wei/Zhang Jiewen and Zhang Yawen/Wei Yili are all strong title bidders. Chinese could stand out in the mixed doubles with the men's doubles considered the best chance for non-Chinese.




A "dream team" of Chinese divers collected six golds in Athens and they are poised to win more in Beijing.


China has been ruling the Olympic diving for 20 years by winning as many gold medals. China's Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia are going to lead through the 3-meter springboard in both individual and synchronized. Qin Kai and He Chong are capable of securing the men's 3-meter springboard, and Qin Kai/Wang Feng are in a good position to lead the synchronized. Lin Yue and Zhou Luxin lead off the men's 10-meter platform and Lin Yue/Huo Liang set on men's synchronized. Chen Ruolin and Wang Xin take care of both individual and synchronized in the women's 10-meter platform.


China garnered nine gold medals at the Melbourne world championships in 2007.




Chinese gymnastics is expected to take a sky-rocket journey next year, targeting at six golds against one gold won in Athens.


China had led the gold medal tally in last two world championships. It was five golds, two silvers and one bronze for this year's championships in Stuttgart and a stunning eight golds last year in Aarhus, Denmark.


No other countries fit into the new codes of "no limit for difficulties" better than China. The men's team title was a third time in a row for China.


China's Yang Wei was the first gymnast to successfully defend the all-around world title in 81 years.


China's "Queen of Vault" Cheng Fei and Xiao Qin, "King of Pommel Horse", both dominated their favorite apparatus for three consecutive worlds.


The rings, parallel bars and women's floor are also in China's favor. Besides, China possesses top contestants in the men's vault, women's team and beam.




China claimed four shooting gold medals in Athens. In Beijing, the aim has been set on five. In the 1984 Los Angeles Games, China took its first Olympic gold ever from shooter Xu Haifeng and has earned a total of 13 shooting golds since.


China had already booked 26 tickets for the Beijing Games by Dec. 10, only two less than the full number.


China sets out experienced shooters like Du Li (in women's 50m rifle), Zhu Qinan (men's 50m rifle), Zhang Shan (skeet), Tan Zongliang (men's 10m pistol), Chen Ying (women's 25m pistol) and Hu Binyuan (skeet) as well as pick up newcomers Ding Feng (men's 25m pistol) and Zhang Yi (women's 10m rifle).




Six weightlifters went atop of the podium in Athens, so it won't be less when China's Hercules come forward to the focus of Olympic Games at home.


China has an automatic full 10 tickets for the Beijing Games, six for men and four for women.


It's even a headache for China to decide an Olympic squad from talented national team. China has broken five world records at the world championships and Asian championships this year. Olympic champions Tang Gonghong, Chen Yanqing and Zhang Guozheng are training hard to keep up their form. China has a bunch of athletes to rely on -- Yang Lian and Wang Mingjuan in women's 48kg; Li Ping and Qiu Hongxia in women's 53kg; Chen Yanqing in women's 58kg; Liu Chunhong in women's 69kg; Mu Shuangshuang in women's 53kg; Li Zheng in men's 56kg; Zhang Guozheng and Shi Zhiyong in men's 69kg.


Other Olympic medal hopefuls for China are athletics, rowing, women's volleyball, boxing, taekwondo, judo and trampoline.


In athletics, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang will defend the Olympic 110m hurdles title. As the world record holder and reigning Olympic champion, Liu looks forward to reaching the peak of his career. Liu has shown strong form after winning the Osaka world championships in 2007.


In rowing, China is likely to take gold medals. In the 2007 world championships in Munich, China brought home one gold and two bronzes. Li Qin/Tian Liang finished first in the women's light double sculls and the pair are reckoned favorites for the Beijing Games. China's Meng Guanliang/Yang Wenjun took a gold in men's double kayak. Their success encouraged China's inspiration on kayak.


In judo, China's Tong Wen and Shi Junjie were crowned in the women's +78kg and -52kg categories at the 2007 world championships. They would spearhead Chinese judokas at the Olympic Games.


In boxing, Olympic bronze medalist Zou Shiming was in form as he defended the world title in the men's -48kg class this year in Chicago. China had found a bunch of talented boxers at the world championships in November. Li Yang (-57kg), Hanati (-69kg), Nigati (-91kg) and Zhang Zhilei (+91kg) each won a bronze at the worlds.


In trampoline, no one country can match the speed of progress as China did. Chinese trampolinists nailed three golds and four silvers at the world championships in Quebec City in 2007. Chinese Huang Shanshan and Ye Shuai will be among the most competitive in 2008.


In taekwondo, China has paved the path to be a powerhouse in the sport. Olympic champions Chen Zhong and Luo Wei will defend their titles in Beijing. China's Wu Jingyu came to the spotlight after she notched -47kg title in the world championships.


As the defending Olympic champions, China is among the top contenders for the women's volleyball.


(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2007)

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