CHINA / Center

Track rehearsal for Games
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-13 06:10

Chinese junior track and field athletes will go for gold at the upcoming IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) World Junior Championships on their home turf this August as one of the three most important events held by IAAF comes to Beijing for the first time.

"Although we have no elite junior athletes, the overall strength of our junior athletes are a little bit stronger than the adults," said Luo Chaoyi, director of China's Athletic Administrative Centre.

"I believe they will win gold medals at the Worlds but not too many."

As revealed by Luo, the Chinese junior athletes are expected to have opportunities to win medals in up to ten events, including race walking, women's hammer, and women's middle and long distance running.

"According to our condition, we will strive for gold medals in the men's and women's 10km race. The walking, middle and long distance runners also have medal chances," Luo said.

"The women's hammer thrower Hao Shuai is a medal hopeful as well. The young high jumpers and pole vaulters will also have a chance."

Opening on August 15, the 11th IAAF World Junior Championships includes 44 events and is expected to attract about 2,000 athletes from more than 160 countries and regions. It will conclude on August 20.

In order to prepare for the Worlds, some young athletes are currently busy training in Shanghai.

"The young athletes in the training camp will participate in the National Junior Championships in June. The training camp will re-open in the early half of July when the final entry list will come out," Luo said.

Since Beijing won the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games, the first home Olympics has drawn the attention from all the athletes in China. Being a weak country in track and field, which is the biggest Olympic sport, China will take the opportunity of hosting the junior events to practice its young hopefuls.
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