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Chinese table tennis aims for gold rush at home Olympics
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Qiao Yunping, who would assume her task as China's table tennis team advisory member in the coming Olympic Games, predicted that China will pocket all the four gold medals with ease at home Olympics.

Qiao, director and head coach with table tennis administration center of east china's Shandong province, made the predictions Wednesday morning after she finished her race of Olympic torch relay in Jinan, capital city of the province.

She just returned from the national table tennis training base in north China's Hebei province days ago for the relay, which she thought is exciting, honorable and another way to participate in the Olympic Games.

"It is quite certain that the Chinese teams are entitled to great glory when the Olympic Games are being held at home, as the players are of strong competence with overwhelming supports from their countrymen," she said.

"The team title will definitely goes to the Chinese women and four gold medals are not out of question for China," she predicted.

Qiao, who began to learn playing table tennis at 11 years old, was crowned with her partner Liu Wei as a women's double world champion in the 42th World Table Tennis Championships in 1992, but they lost to another world famous pair Deng Yaping and Qiao Hong in the Atlanta Olympics.

She was calm to recall all of these with a little feeling of pity.

"I could still realize my dream of Olympic gold medal through the younger generations, of whom national player Li Xiaoxia was the one I pinned my hopes on," said Qiao optimistically.

"She has been a world (team) champion and will play as an alternate in the coming Beijing Olympics. I hope she can get the chance to show her ability at the Olympics this time," she said.

The torch relay in Jinan, last leg in Shandong, was a showcase of sports celebrities, including diver Guo Jingjing, weightlifter Lin Weining and long-distance runner Xing Huina.

(Xinhua News Agency July 23, 2008)

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