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China eyes 8 diving gold medals in Beijing Olympics
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Though "springboard diva" Guo Jingjing has been ruling springboard synchronized with her teammate Wu Minxia, her partner was changed to be a male diver Wang Feng during Wednesday's performance, leaving Wu alone to finish her own part.

However, the three world-class divers of China's diving team was not showing their skills of rip entry but running a certain distance as a relay racer.

The three paused their training for the ongoing Olympic torch relay in Jinan, capital city of east China's Shandong Province, also the training base for China's national diving team.

Guo and Wang were the last torchbearers to light the cauldron to finish the relay in Jinan and Wu was the 10th among all the city's 243 torchbearers. Jinan is the last leg of torch relay in the province.

"I will not let the Chinese down in the Beijing Olympics and wish Beijing a big success," said Guo, cherishing the chance to be an Olympic torchbearer.

"The most important thing for me now is to make my best performance at home to defend my title in the coming August", she added.

All that Guo thought was just what China's diving team has been striving for.

Known as the "dream team", the Chinese diving team had won 20 gold medals in six Olympic games since the 1990s. In 2004 Athens Olympics, China's divers secured six medals in eight events.

Chinese national team manager Zhou Jihong, who was keeping a low profile, would rather say ahead of the Beijing Olympics that competitions were cruel so all the team members were training hard and would do best for the gold medals.

However, analysts forecasted that China was quite competitive to make a clean sweep on the Beijing Olympic diving arena after it kept training for another four years and stood many big tests.

Wang Feng, veteran of men's 3-meter springboard was optimistic about China's performance at home. "Our diving team will present a dramatic win at the Water Cube", he said.

Wu Minxia, gold medalist in the Athens Olympics with Guo said she was proud that the Olympic games was to be held just at home and would try her utmost for gold medals.

"We will stop concentrated training in a week and start life at the Beijing Olympic village in early August," said Zhou Jihong.

"Jinan has brought us a lot of luck. It is always a lucky place for China's national diving team," she added.

(Xinhua News Agency July 23, 2008)

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