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Maradona sniffs out coaching in China
Argentina soccer legend Diego Maradona has reiterated his desire to coach in China after arriving in the capital on Monday for an eight-day charity trip.
"I would like to coach in China," said the 51-year-old - who was sacked by a Dubai club Al Wasl FC in the United Arab Emirates as a manager - during a news conference at Capital Airport in Beijing without offering any further information.
Maradona's intention to coach in China was first cited in May when Tang Huiqing, one of his agents, told the media he (Maradona) had been paying attention to China's soccer development, and hoped to engage in the youth soccer training program and become the head coach of the national team.
"I wish to contribute to the development of China's soccer youth," he said at the news conference.
Maradona is on an eight-day visit to China for a series of charity events including an auction on Aug 18, where the proceeds will be donated for the development of youth soccer in China. He will also meet with Wei Di, chief of the Chinese Football Association.
'Super Dan' serves up autobiography
Coming off a sensational comeback in the men's badminton final at the London Olympics and completing an unprecedented job of defending an Olympic title, Lin Dan has decided to bring his talents to the publishing industry.
The badminton champion known as "Super Dan" held a book signing for his autobiography,Until the End of the World, which hit shelves earlier this month, at the Wangfujing bookstore in downtown Beijing on Tuesday afternoon, attracting hordes of fans, who queued up for a chance to meet him. Organizers say the fans were lined up from the sixth floor all the way to the underground parking garage.
The book takes a look back at his stellar badminton career, which started at the age of 5, capturing all the ups and downs during the process, and tells about how the love between him and his wife, Xie Xingfang – a former player on the national team – grew from a secret romance.
"The book is a summary of a period of time in my life. I want more post-80s and 90s generations and young athletes in other sports to know my stories, and most important, I want to inspire them," said Lin. "I was once called 'Lin Yi Lun (Lin – second round virgin)'. So I think my story could inspire them."
Lin Dan also revealed at the book signing that he will throw a big wedding party for Xie, and he will invite his on-court foes but off-court friends, like Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat. The date of the ceremony is still undecided but will be sometime this year.
From Olympic rings to wedding rings
Hammer thrower Zhang Wenxiu was still depressed about missing a bronze medal at London Olympics when she was caught by a surprise marriage proposal on returning to Beijing.
Zhang arrived back at Capital Airport on Tuesday morning to find her boyfriend knelt on one knee, calling out "marry me?" She immediately accepted.
"His name is Feng Xiaoming," said Zhang told Peninsula Morning Post. "We are on the same (Bayi) team and we’ve been together for seven years."
Despite the emotional proposal, Zhang said they will not tie the knot until next year after the National Games (in August).
"I have to rush back to the team for training. And we plan to get married after the National Games."
Zhang missed a bronze in the women's hammer throw due to a measurement farce by officials. She first finished third at the event, but Germany's Betty Heidler took the bronze medal after her fifth throw was measured again and surpassed Zhang's best by 0.81 meter.
Zhang said the loss was the biggest regret of her lifetime.
"How many four years does an athletes have in their career? I won a bronze in Beijing, and was looking forward to winning a medal again in London. But I never thought it would finish like this."