CHANGCHUN -- China's top pair Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo are likely to leave the
national team temporarily after the World Championships in March, and they are
not sure of a comeback for the Winter Olympics, said the duo here on Friday.
"We would like to temporarily leave the national squad after the World
Championships in Tokyo, because we can hardly afford being in the team as we
always feel nervous there," said Zhao after they took the leading position in
the short program at the 6th Winter Asian Games."
"I am not young anymore, and if I stay in the national team for another three
years before the Winter Olympics in 2010, I will be an antique," he added.
The 34-year-old Zhao suffered a serious rupture in his left achilles's tendon
in August, 2005 and has gone through an operation before winning a bronze medal
in the Turin Olympic Games in 2006.
"He was afraid of having another injury in his achilles's tendon, so we are
going to have a rest for some time," said Shen, 29. "I cannot assure that we can
come back for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as it all depends on our form
and physical conditions."
Shen/Zhao claimed consecutive titles in 2002 and 2003 World Championships.