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"I'll Never Let My Countrymen Down!"


China's No.1 male diver Tian Liang said Wednesday he is confident to beat other rivals and achieve double golds in his first ever Universiade outing.

"I'm always confident to win (in competitions)," said Tian, who owns both Olympic and World Championships titles on highboard and widely seen as the favorite in this Universiade.

"I always try my best to win in competitions. I'll try even harder this time as the event is held in my country," said Tian, who grabbed double golds in both individual and synchronized 10m platform events last month in Fukuoka.

He is to compete in the same events at the Universiade which is to be officially opened Wednesday night.

"I won't let my countrymen down," he said with a smile.

Tian brushed off the suggestion that he could be threatened by Jose Guerra, the Cuban diver who took gold on highboard at the 1999 Universiade and has vowed to defend his title this year.

"I'm not worried about him. Guerra is strong in technique but weak in mental strength. Sometimes he makes mistakes where he should not. I don't know whether I should regard him as a major rival," Tian said.

Tian, who turns 22 next Monday, said he believes he can clinch gold medals so far as he perform to his ability.

"I feel I've got to the point where I have good control of myself, able to adjust myself to the best form before each competition. I think this guarantees victory," he said.

Tian Liang, who is the idol of many girls for both his sports talent and handsome features, has enjoyed a pop star status in China since his triumphant victory over Russia's Dmitry Sautin at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. His photos are ever more popular these days as Chinese get into a Universiade frenzy.

Tian is chosen to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Universiade at the Workers' Stadium Wednesday evening.

Tian Liang's file:

Male

Birthdate: 1979

Birthplace: Chongqing

Champion of men's 10m platform in 2001 World Swimming Championships.

Gold medallist of men's 10m platform at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Silver medallist of men's 10m platform synchronized, paired with Hu Jia, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Champion of men's 10m platform in the 2000 HK Open.

Champion of men's 10m platform and men's 10m platform synchronized, paired with Huang Qiang,in the 2000 National Diving Championships, China's qualifying match for the Sydney Olympics.

Won men's 10m platform and men's 10m platform synchronized, paired with Huang Qiang, in the 2000 World Cup.

Champion of men's 10m platform in the 1999 FINA Diving Grand Prix Finals.

Champion of men's 10m platform and men's 10m platform synchronized, paired with Sun Shuwei, in the 1999 World Cup.

Gold medallist of men's 10m platform in the 1998 Asian Games.

Won men's 10m platform synchronized, teamed with Sun Shuwei, in the 1998 Goodwill Games.

Champion of men's 10m platform synchronized, paired with Sun Shuwei, and second in men's 10m platform in the 1998 World Swimming Championships.

Fourth in men's platform in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Champion of men's platform synchronized, paired with Xiao Hailiang, in the 1995 World Cup.

(China.org.cn 08/23/2001)







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