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Chen seeks third gold
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Height, speed, explosive strength, experience...there are many reasons to believe taekwondo veteran Chen Zhong will add a third gold in front of the home crowd at the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

And that's exactly what she is thinking about.

"As everybody anticipates, I hope to defend the title at the Olympics. And now I'm trying to achieve this goal with a detailed training plan," said the 26-year-old Chen.

With an advantageous height of 1.83m, it seemed she was born for taekwondo, however, she did that after being trained for basketball for five years.

And another five year training for taekwondo helped the girl from central China's Henan Province to claim the first Olympic title at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Four years later, she defended the title in heavyweight category at the Athens Olympics.

Chen had a surgery in 2005 for her injured leg which had been bothering her since 2002. When everybody felt anxious about her recovery, Chen made an astonishing performance as she claimed the title in the Doha Asian Games in 2006 and then triumphed in the 2007 World Championships to complete a grand slam of titles.

In order not to hurt the recovered leg, Chen missed the "2008 Good Luck Beijing" test event, however, she watched every match of her teammates and some foreign competitive taekwondists.

"Watching theses excellent players' competitions can teach me how to treat different opponents. I will both learn their merits and spot the flaws to accumulate a wealth of experience for the Olympics," she said.

She also found that now the judges prefer to mark the points for the active-attack side while counterattack scores less.

"I will spend more time improving my offensive effectiveness and ability," she said.

As one of the world's most competitive taekwondists in the women's over 67 class, Chen boasts a series of characteristics including fast speed, angular movements, clear mind and practical kicking technique to frighten her equals.

However, she remained cautious about her Olympic prospect.

"Every player in the Olympic arena will be my opponent as they are all selected from national elites. For me, I will treat every match seriously just as the final."

(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2008)

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