China's gold medal hopefuls:
Weightlifting - women's 48 kg class, shooting - women's 10-meter air rifle and men's 10-meter air rifle, fencing - women's saber individual.
Events on the first day will be a prime focus. Since only seven gold medals are available, people will attach great importance to each event. There is no doubt that the first Olympic gold medal will be the highlight of the day. According to the competition schedule, the women's 10-meter air rifle should produce the first gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, and Du Li is expected to create history for China here. However, we have to recognize that the first gold could also be won by other countries, since Du Li hasn't been in her best form over the last six months. In this case China's first gold medal event might be the women's weightlifting 48 kg class.
China is also expected to win a gold medal in two other events. Born in 1984, Tan Xue, at the age of 18, won the women's saber individual in the World Championships, while she missed first place and won a silver medal in 2003. In the last Olympics Tan Xue also won silver. Competing at home this year, she is expected to be favorite.
Tan Zongliang is a veteran of the Chinese shooting team. He has been China's No. 1 in men's air rifle since Wang Yifu retired. His record in the Olympics is not so good although he has won a lot of international competitions. He took sixth place in the 1996 Olympics, eleventh in 2000, and ninth in 2004. He did not even make the final shoot-out, which can't be put down to a lack of ability. This year, competing at home, Tan Zongliang is expected to cast off his "Olympic hoodoo".
(China.org.cn July 30, 2008)