Adake, a budding star at Chinese Speed Skating Championships

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CHANGCHUN, China, March 24 (Xinhua) -- For Er Ahena Adake, the Chinese National Speed Skating Championships might be the set-off of her stardom to the Olympics.

The women's 5,000m gold medalist also won two silver medals in 3,000m and team pursuit in her national debut. Among the veteran champions of the event, Adake, a 19-year-old from Xinjiang, shone as a budding star for the Chinese speed skating.

On March 21, she finished runner-up in the 3,000m, behind Han Mei, a veteran who won three gold and two silver medals. Two days later, she claimed the 5,000m gold medal, 1.159 seconds ahead of Han, and took her second silver in the team pursuit the following day.

"I didn't expect to have such results here," Adake said.

Adake, who started her career in short-track speed skating and switched to speed skating only six months ago, won a silver medal at ISU Junior World Cup in Helsinki in January.

"I just wanted to have a try (of speed skating) on the first hand," she said. "The result was not bad, so now I compete in both rinks."

With the achievement at the National Championships, Adake has more confidence in speed skating now.

"I am getting better and better, making breakthroughs constantly. I feel I might be more capable in speed skating. I'm making some plans for the future now," Adake added.

Behind Adake's growth is the 59-year-old Xin Qingshan, the godfather of Chinese speed skating who has been the coach to Yang Yang, China's first-ever Winter Olympic champion, and a bunch of world gold medalists including Li Jiajun, Li Yan and Wang Chunlu.

In January 2018, Xin went to Xinjiang for the training of local skaters, both short track and speed skating, under the guidance of the Winter Sports Management Center of the General Administration of Sport of China.

On Adake's performance, Xin was not so optimistic.

"She's better than herself before, but the 7:19.32 is far too good in the world. Our skaters have a long way to catch up with the world's best in long distant events," Xin said.

Dutch Esmee Visser won the 5,000m gold in 6:50.23 at 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Training with Xin for a year, Adake said her coach is very strict on ice but very respectful.

"It's my great honor to train with coach Xin. I was not used to his style at first, but now I am getting better," Adake said.

"It's a long way. Like most Chinese skaters, I'm good in curves but bad on strength. For me, to get on the ice of the Olympics is the priority. I believe I can do it," she added. Enditem

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