Former champion has faith in young lifters

Updated: 2012-07-18 08:05:33

By Sun Xiaochen ( China Daily)

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 Former champion has faith in young lifters

Beijing Olympic 56kg weightlifting gold medalist Long Qingquan (left) holds an envelope affixed with the Chinese Olympic Committee's new stamp at the launch with national champion Kang Yue (right) and two stamp lovers on Tuesday. Provided to China Daily

Former Olympic champion weightlifter Long Qingquan said he has full faith in the young contingent China is sending to the London Olympics, despite its lack of experience.

China lifted eight of the 15 gold medals on offer at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but it will have only one defending champion - Lu Yong in the men's 85kg category - at the Games.

The lack of experienced lifters, including Long, women's 69kg winner Liu Chunhong and five other gold medalists from four years ago, has lowered the country's expectations of repeating its Beijing heroics.

However, Long remains upbeat about the team's potential in London.

"I think everyone drafted into the team has prepared well and deserves their Olympic spots," Long told China Daily at the launch of the first Chinese Olympic Committee stamp on Tuesday.

"The men's side will face tougher challenges from their opponents and the women will try hard to secure the first gold to have a good start. Anyway, I think they will do well again."

Long, the Beijing 56kg gold-medal winner, lost to teammate Wu Jingbiao at the national trials in April and missed out on London.

Still, Long is confident Wu can continue his legacy in the category.

"He has competed with me at a lot of international events and the titles always belonged to one of us," he said. "I think he will win."

(China Daily 07/18/2012 page24)

Medal Count

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3 29 17 19
4 24 25 33
5 13 8 7
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