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China's gold hope lies in 500m-speed-skating at Vancouver Winter Olympics
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China pins its gold medal anticipation at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games on 500m speed skating as the event boasts China's top skaters.

"China's speed skating team is capable of winning gold medals in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Yu Fengtong and Wang Beixing are China's hopefuls to snatch gold medals for China," said Wang Manli, a retired Chinese speed skater, on the sideline of 2008/2009 ISU World Cup speed skating here on Sunday.

"I feel that I am on the way of maturing for competition," said Yu, 24, who pocketed up a gold and a silver in men's 500-meter speed skating in the 2008/2009 ISU World Cups.

Xing Shuo, deputy director of China's speed skating administration center, confirmed Yu's progress and potential for podium finish in the Vancouver Winter Games, but Xing gave more favor to Wang Beixing for gold ambition.

"It's possible for Yu to make a breakthrough for China in men's500m for he has made strides over years both physically and mentally, but to me Wang has a better chance for gold medal in women's 500m in Vancouver," said Xing in talking about China's 2010 perspective.

"Only German skater Jenny Wolf and South Korean athlete Lee Sang-Hwa are posed to challenge Wang in women's 500 meters, but for Yu about 10 peers are waiting there," added Xing.

Wolf sets pace in women's 500-meter rankings and Lee Sang-Hwa is on par with Wolf and 23-year-old Wang, who broke the world record in 37.24 seconds last March.

Wang stayed away from the Changchun event of ISU World Cup and was concentrating on training towards short-course speed skating World Championship and Chinese National Games slated for next January.

Wolf regarded Wang as "a great competitor" and said it was a pleasure to race against her.

After the National Games next year, Wang is heading to Canada for pre-Winter Games training, while Yu is set to be reserved in China under a coach from the Netherlands.

(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2008)

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