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Two-time champion leads China's taekwondo squad to Olympics
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Two-time Olympic champion Chen Zhong leads China's taekwondo squad as China vows to win at least one gold in the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games.

"The squad list will be sent to the Chinese Olympic Committee officially when the national championships is over," said Zhao Lei, vice president of the Chinese Taekwondo Association on Tuesday.

In the squad list, Chen Zhong, Olympic champion in 2000 and 2004, is the gold medal hopeful in the women's over 67kg category. Wu Jingyu, world champion in 2007, will compete in the women's 49kg division.

The two male players are Liu Xiaobo in the over 80kg class, bronze medalist in the Asian Games in 2006, and Zhu Guo in the 80kg division, who won the fifth place in the world championships in 2007.

"When the official procedure is finished, we will make an announcement before the Asian Championships in April. The squad is almost nailed down and I don't think it will have any change in the future," Zhao added.

All the players in the Olympic squad competed in the four-day national championships which was concluded on Wednesday and all of them won the gold medals with obvious advantage.

China took two taekwondo gold medals in the Athens Olympics, one from the 26-year-old Chen Zhong and the other from 25-year-old Luo Wei.

Luo was absent from the squad due to her left leg injury but also participated in the national championships, claiming a silver medal in women's 72kg category.

"We eye at least one gold medal in the Beijing Olympics and hope to win two if we are lucky," said Zhao.

Zhao noted that the gold medal hopes came from the women's events and regarded fighters from Europe, South Korea and Thailand as the main opponents for Wu and Chen.

(Xinhua News Agency March 19, 2008)

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