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Zhang Dan/Zhang Hao Confirm to Skate in Worlds
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Olympic silver medalists Zhang Dan/Zhang Hao will compete in the World Figure Skating Championships despite Zhang Dan hurt her ligament in the pairs free skating at the Turin Olympic Games.

"Zhang Dan/Zhang Hao are sure to skate in the World Championships next month. We are confident with her recovery before the Worlds," Zhang's coach Yao Bin said in a press conference on Thursday.

Ji Chunnan, the Chinese team doctor, confirmed that the knee injury of Zhang Dan had been diagnosed as ligament strain in her left knee.

"We took Zhang Dan to a local hospital on Feb. 14 and had a full check-up. There was a ligament strain in her left knee," Ji Chunnan said.

"I did not feel so much pain as several days ago and I can walk freely now," said Zhang Dan after the press conference.

"It won't affect my future when we go back, but I will be more cautious in training," she added.

"In the past, we often ignored some details when we did a good move in training. Actually, any small mistakes would cause trouble in the competition."

Zhang Dan injured her left knee when attempting a throw quadruple salchow. She opened the jump too early, came out forward and fell hard, hitting her knee and slid into the boards.

Zhang Dan and her partner Zhang Hao started again to skate after the interruption of their performance, picking up 125.01 points, slightly more than their previous personal best of 124.36 points and defended their second place with a total of 189.73 points.

The World Championships will be held in Calgary, Canada from March 20-26.

(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2006)

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