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August 17: 34 gold medals
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China's gold medal hopefuls:

Track and field - women's marathon; badminton - men's singles, mixed doubles; equestrian; gymnastics - men's pommel horse, women's floor exercises, women's vault; wrestling - women's 72 kg; diving - women's 3-meter springboard; table tennis - women's team

Zhou Chunxiu

Zhou Chunxiu

In previous Games, China experienced many unforgettable moments of pride and joy. In particular, September 22, 2000, at the Athens Games, was a vintage day since China harvested six gold medals. August 17 is the day with the best chance for breaking the medal record because 34 medals will be awarded in 13 sports. China's athletes are competitive in many events such as the "national sport", table tennis. The final will be a family affair among Zhang Yining, Wang Nan and Guo Yue. In badminton, Lin Dan aspires to avenge his surprising defeat in men's singles at the Athens Games, while Gao Ling is looking forward to winning her third Olympic medal.

Gymnastics could be another bonanza for the Chinese team. Cheng Fei, world champion in the vault and the floor exercise, together with Xiao Qin, "king of pommel horse," are prepared to defend their titles. Another favorite, Guo Jingjing will compete in the women's 3-meter springboard. In this event, her biggest opponent is only herself. If she succeeds in adding another gold medal to her career, she will overtake teammate Fu Mingxia and the "queen of table tennis," Deng Yaping, to become the most prolific gold medalist in China's history.

Shooting will be wrapped up on August 17. The Athens Games winner Jia Zhanbo is determined to show his athletic prowess again and prove his success four years ago was not a stroke of luck. The 34-year-old veteran just proved himself by winning a world championship in May with a score of 1,276.5. His performance in the Beijing Games will surely draw much attention.

Zhou Chunxiu emerged as a marathon star at last year's World Championships, winning a silver medal, so she will be considered a principal competitor that cannot be overlooked. Moreover, the scorching August heat in Beijing will help her gain an upper hand against the others.

In addition to all these, other Olympic-caliber competitors will compete in rowing and women's doubles tennis. Just wait and see how many gold medals China will win!

(China.org.cn July 30, 2008)

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