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China's Freestyle Skiing Aerials Seeks Breakthrough
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China's freestyle skiing aerials athletes under intense training for the Freestyle Skiing World Championship held in Italy in January are seeking breakthroughs.

"Few people participated in or even knew skiing before the 1990s in China, but skiing has developed very fast in the recent years," said Wang Yitao, chief of Chinese Ski Association and director of Winter Sport Administration Center of State General Administration of Sport, on Monday.

"China's freestyle skiing aerials team has now topped the world, by making great achievements in World Championships and World Cup events," Wang noted.

Li Nina, who won two gold medals in the women's aerials of 2006-2007 World Cup freestyle skiing on Dec. 9 and 10 and Han Xiaopeng, who won the silver medal of the men's freestyle aerials, are among the top skiers in China.

However, the top skiers in foreign countries, such as Australia, Switzerland and Belarus, are always devoted to movements of higher difficulties, and Chinese skiers are still restricted by the degree of difficulties as well as the stability of performances.

The main problem of Chinese men's team did not lie in the techniques, but in the psychology, said Han Xiaopeng.

The competition in skiing aerials was very tough, since there were about 20 skiers at his level in the world's leading group, Han said. "So not only the techniques, but also the tactics, psychology and experience will be tested."

"Chinese men skiers can only accumulate experience and promote the competence through constant training," said Han.

"Chinese women's skiing team is a title favorite, but a large room still exists for promotion," said Yan Xiaojuan, an official from the Winter Sport Administration Center.

The women's team still had problems in techniques and the women skiers should make more efforts to raise their skills, Yan said.

"I'm quite clear about the current situation. New movements and degree of difficulties must be tried if we want to achieve more in the future," Li Nina told Xinhua.

The freestyle skiing aerials is a sport event of substantial contingency, so Chinese aerialists must learn to overcome various unfavorable factors to strengthen their stability of performance and to promote the technical levels, Wang added.

(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2006)

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