Sports / Olympic News Updates

Training camp to fire up Olympic hopefuls

By Xinhua in Sao Paulo (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-01 07:46

Chinese athletes have begun warming up for their Olympic adventure with a training camp in Sao Paulo.

Roughly half of the 416-strong Chinese delegation will use the Esporte Clube Pinheiros to acclimatize to the weather, environment and time difference in Brazil. They are accompanied by dozens of coaches, officials and support staff.

The training base is 430 kilometers northeast of Rio de Janeiro, which will stage the Summer Games from Friday through Aug 21.

"With a flight covering about 17,000 kilometers and lasting about 22 hours, it's the farthest we've ever sent a delegation to the Games," said Sun Yuanfu, deputy chef de mission at the Games warmup camp. The camp will be used to prepare athletes in 16 Olympic events.

"Our table tennis, gymnastics and soccer teams have already finished their training and gone to the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro," Sun said. "The athletes here right now are set to compete in swimming, badminton, boxing, canoe sprint, fencing, volleyball, weightlifting, water polo, synchronized swimming and golf.

"After that, athletes for taekwondo, wrestling and modern pentathlon will arrive one after another."

Located in the exclusive neighborhood of Jardim Europa, Esporte Club Pinheiros covers 170,000 square meters, the equivalent of about 10 soccer fields.

Scores of volunteers were recruited to welcome and accommodate the Chinese delegation. To minimize disruption to its 38,000 members, the club has scheduled times when the facilities are available exclusively to China's athletes.

The club has facilities for 15 sports: table tennis, artistic gymnastics, swimming, badminton, soccer, tennis, rugby, water polo, volleyball, fencing, boxing, athletics, synchronized swimming, modern pentathlon and taekwondo.

The Chinese delegation has also reserved a hotel close to the club, booking most of the available rooms.

The delegation for Rio 2016, the largest sent by China to a Games held overseas, includes 35 Olympic champions.

In London four years ago, China had the second-highest number of podium finishers with 88, including 38 gold medals. The United States, which had 530 athletes in competition, led the tally with 103 medals, 46 of them gold.

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