Chinese biathlon youngsters leave Winter Youth Olympics with experience

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LES ROUSSES, France, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Young Chinese biathletes said on Tuesday that experience of competing in international tournaments is what they cherish the most after concluding their Winter Youth Olympic Games journey.

Chinese biathletes will miss out the mixed relay on Wednesday, final day of biathlon action at the quadrennial Games.

Ding Yuhuan, flag bearer of the Chinese delegation at the opening ceremony, finished 34th in women's 6km sprint.

"I've found what I lack compared with opponents. I should learn from them in the coming days," said Ding, adding that she needs to work on shooting performance.

"Competing with around 100 rivals, it felt quite fierce. I've gained experience from it, which will offer much help when I compete in national matches," the 16-year-old biathlete added.

For Ding's male counterparts, Tuesday's 7.5km sprint race didn't go in a favored manner, with 57th-placed Shi Yuanyuan highest among the trio. His teammates Gou Zhendong and Liu Zhaoyu ranked 59th and 60th respectively.

Shi shot clean in the prone, but suffered four penalty loops in the standing.

"After shooting perfect in the prone, I became a little impatient. The result was below my expectation. I kind of felt pity about it," Shi pointed out.

"I didn't perform at personal best level in the Games," he admitted.

In the standing position, Gou misfired all shots, including three finding their ways to the target next to his.

"I was too nervous then," Gou recalled.

Featuring in three matches in four days, Gou found something to work on in the future.

"I need to improve shooting performance," he said. "I didn't find a large gap from other competitors in skiing, but not the case in shooting. We have much to do on fundamentals, especially in fierce competitions."

Gou, 17, already set his eyes on the Winter Olympic Games on home soil in two years.

"I need to improve on all aspects in future training and matches to bridge the gap. I hope to go up to another level and make contributions for the team in 2022," he commented.

"It's my first time to compete in such a major tournament. I've gained experience from it," Liu said.

Jiang Yang, an official in charge of the team during the Games, said there are "regrets and harvests" from the tournament.

"We are far behind those high-level teams on shooting accuracy," Jiang pointed out. "But these young athletes have gained experience from international competitions, which has laid a solid foundation for their future."

For Jiang, the Winter Youth Olympics journey will bring positive impact on these youngsters' future career.

"They can learn something on technical moves from high-level opponents. Also they can make friends through activities launched by organizers, which is beneficial to their growth," he said. Enditem

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