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Going for gold in Gansu

Updated: 2024-02-19 09:22
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LANZHOU — After several hours of skiing and shooting, Yang Qianru, a 23-year-old biathlete, finished training at noon with her ski suit soaked in sweat.

Since January, over 50 biathletes and cross-country skiers with disabilities have been training at a national snow sports training base in Baiyin in Northwest China's Gansu province.

"All of us are eager to improve our performances in winter," said Yang, adding that her wish for the new year is to continue preparing and improving for the 2026 Winter Paralympics.

Yang, who is visually impaired, finished fifth in biathlon at the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games. "Although I can't see the world clearly, I just want the world to see me," she said.

According to the competition rules of the Winter Paralympics, visually impaired biathletes are required to compete alongside a guide. Biathletes use electronic air rifles and rely on sound frequencies as feedback signals to adjust their angles before shooting.

He Xiaobing, who was a national technical official (NTO) at Beijing 2022 and is now the general manager of the Gansu training base, revealed that the center completed the renovation of disability-friendly facilities and the construction of new ski courses at the end of last year.

"I hope that all the athletes can improve their performances at the base," said He.

The center was built in late 2019, and features a ski service center with over 100 rooms, a 75,000-square-meter ski resort, an indoor training hall and a biathlon course.

The base has hosted national cross-country skiing and biathlon events over the past three years, and was used by Chinese Paralympians in the build-up to Beijing 2022.

Yang said that the facilities were excellent as the biathlon shooting range was similar to the one used at Beijing 2022. The food and accommodation also meet the standards of various snow events.

"The cross-country skiing track is very professional, and will help me improve my endurance," Yang said.


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