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Coach Li slims down during training camp

China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-30 09:37
Team China head coach Li Tie speaks to the media in Shanghai, China on May 11, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Team China head coach Li Tie has revealed May's national team training camp in Shanghai didn't just succeed in whipping his players into shape.

Li, who took over China's men's side in January, said the rigorous two-week training camp helped him lose weight that he had piled on during this year's Spring Festival holidays, which were prolonged by the COVID-19 outbreak.

"That was the longest Spring Festival holidays I ever had, and I gained several kilograms," said the 43-year-old.

"I lost almost six kilograms over two weeks at the camp."

Former Everton midfielder Li had assembled the squad, which included three naturalized players, in preparation for delayed World Cup qualifiers that are now slated to take place in October and November.

With four more first-phase qualifiers to play, China is eight points adrift of Group A leader Syria and only leads third-place Philippines on goal difference. The eight group winners and four best second-place finishers will enter a second phase of Asian qualifying. Li is hopeful that China can defy the doubters and reach the finals in Qatar.

"My next aim is to guide my team through the first phase of the Asian World Cup qualifiers to reach the final 12," he said.

Xinhua - Agencies

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