Injured Chinese medal hopeful to recover on time for Vancouver Games

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Hit by a serious injury to her thigh three weeks before the opening of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, Chinese short track medal hopeful Liu Qiuhong is recovering soon enough to catch up with the Games.

"Liu has recovered much sooner and better than expected, she will leave Beijing for Vancouver on Wednesday," team leader Yang Zhanwu told Xinhua on Monday after China's first official training at the Pacific Coliseum.

But it's not decided yet whether she would represent her country in the women's 500m heats on Thursday, the first day of Vancouver Olympic short track competitions.

"I don't know if she will be healthy enough to skate for China on Thursday, but the process of the rehabilitation has been pretty positive," Yang added.

The final decision would be made on the day before competition, according to Chinese head coach Li Yan.

"As usual, the roster will be released one day in advance, I hope she will be healthy enough to skate for us," she said.

The 21-year-old Liu, who was the No. 3 Chinese woman skater and a solid starter in the relay team, cut her muscles of left thigh with her skate in a training session in late January.

Spearheaded by reigning Olympic 500m gold medallist Wang Meng, the Chinese short track speed skating team is striving to surpass its previous best ever two-gold performance at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

"Our goal is to beat the South Korean team," Wang claimed, referring mainly to the women's side, while the Chinese men are trying to steal a medal, no matter what color it is, from the almighty South Korean peers.

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