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Chinese team gets mixed feelings after Olympic boxing draw
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The Chinese boxing team embraced mixed feelings after the Olympic boxing draw held in Beijing on Friday, with several Chinese boxers got their lucky draws, while others suffered bad ones.

Chinese boxing team leader Cui Fuguo was not satisfied with the draw result. "The draw is not quite satisfying," he said:" Many athletes are going to meet strong opponents in the first round."

"But for Zou Shiming, who has the largest possibility to win a gold medal, his draw is not so bad. All the strong opponents are in his later bouts," he added.

He said the team's goal is to break the zero of medals. "This won't be changed because of the result of the draw. We will try our best even if the draw is the worst," he said.

Chinese 48kg boxer Zou Shiming, China's best hope to get the first Olympic boxing gold, enjoyed an easy draw at the first bout by fighting Venezuelan Eduard Salas. At the second bout, he'll fight either French Nordine Oubaali or Uzbek Rafikjon Sultonov, with a high hope of winning too. He'll most likely appear at the finals and fight for the gold.

China's 57 kg boxer Li Yang, another hopeful for earning an Olympic medal, got his luck in hand too. He'll fight Brazilian Robson Conceicao with little difficulty of winning. He sees no problem of crushing his second-bout opponent, winner from the Dominican and Ecudorian boxers, and to approach to the quarterfinals.

Hu Qing from the 60kg category will encounter Ukranian Oleksandr Klyuchko, a not-too-fierce boxer, Hu has a chance to win. If he does, he'll most probably meet Kazakh boxer Merey Akshalov.

Hanati Silamu, China's 69kg boxer, another hopeful of seizing a medal, also has a good luck at the draw. He'll fight a Zambian boxer first, then the winner between a Central African boxer and a Cameroon boxer. He's expected to enter the top eight easily.

Zhang Zhilei from the 91kg class will enjoy an easy fight with a Moroccan boxer at the first bout. Then he'll meet Australian Dan Beahan or Kazakh Rusian Myrsatayev. All three share similar strengths, so there will be a fierce fight for Zhang to squeeze into the top 8.

Other Chinese boxers didn't enjoy the luck as their above teammates. 54kg boxer Gu Yu will first have to encounter British Joe Murray, second runner-up of the 2007 World Championships. 64kg Maimaitituersun Qiong has the worst luck of facing runner-up of the 07 World Championships, Russian Kovalev Gennady, at his first bout.

Wang Jianzheng from the 75kg division was also unfortunate enough to meet Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko, second runner-up of last year's World Chmapionships. Zhang Xiaoping from the 81kg will have the chance to win his Tunisian counterpart Mourad Sahraoui during the first bout, but will most likely encounter a fearful enemy during the next round, runner-up of the last World Championships Russian Artur Beterbiev, which seems like a dead end for Zhang.

Nijiati Yushan from 91kg category outreaches his first-bout rivalry Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk, but his next-bout enemy, world champion Italian Clemente Russo or silver medalist of Athens Olympics Belarusian Viktar Zuyeu won't give him much chance to win.

The Olympic boxing competition will kick off from Aug. 9 to 24 at Beijing's Worker Gymnasium, with 11 gold medals waiting for their owners.

(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2008)

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