Junior skaters ambitious for Beijing 2022

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China's young skaters look to make breakthroughs in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Young Chinese skaters are determined to pull off historic breakthroughs in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

A bunch of youngsters, who won two silver and three bronze medals in the 2016 World Junior Speed Skating Championships, will be better equipped to strike medals at the 2022 Olympics, said Chinese speed skating official Jiang Shicai.

China launched its national junior team in the sport last summer as the first step to prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The young skaters devote eight months of a year to training and competing, according to Jiang.

"Medal hopefuls will have more chances to train and compete overseas since our training budget has doubled that of last year," Jiang said.

"Nobody will be ensured a fixed position in the national team, and the roster will change constantly," Jiang added.

Even Han Mei, who took three silvers at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), will have to compete to qualify for senior national team. "We want to create a competitive atmosphere which will spur us to progress together," Han said.

The Chinese speed skating team even tried to transform some roller skaters into potential 2022 Olympics medal grabbers.

"We took in two roller skaters form Jiangsu Province last year, and the two players did very well in the National Junior Speed Skating Championships," said Jiang, adding "mass start in speed skating is very similar to roller skating."

Li Jiajun, a former short track speed skating world champion, now serves as an official who gives advice to young skaters on how to bring out their best in competition.

Under Li's guidance, Gao Tingyu, who fell at the men's 500-meter speed skating a day before, won a silver at the men's team sprint with his two teammates.

"Li helped me recover from the failure," said Cao. "He taught us to trust each other and believe in ourselves."

Li had won almost all the major titles but an Olympic medal in his career. "I want to help young skaters improve themselves every single day and make up for my regret in a way," he said.

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