GUANGZHOU, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Hosts Chinese gymnasts target yet another gold rush at the 16th Asian Games which will formally kick off here on Friday.
With Japan not sending its top men's team and DPR Korea banned from the competition, few gymnasts in the 132-strong roster are able to challenge the Olympic champion team at the city's Asiad Town Gymnasium.
China has long dominated the Asiad gymnastics and they collected 11 gold medals (including shared ones) in all 14 events four years ago in Doha. The home advantage in Guangzhou allows them to aim at even more.
The gymnastics powerhouse has retained all team titles since 1974 when China entered the Asian Games for the first time. In Guangzhou, it is not a problem for China to extend their consecutive wins to 10.
While Japan's second-line men's team can still steal one or two individual golds from the hosts, particularly on all-around, Chinese women will have their eyes on a full sweep.
Those tiny girls came back from last month's world championships without a gold, but in Asia, there will be another story.
DPRK's vault specialists' absence leaves the door wide open for China to triumph on the apparatus they are least adept at.
Gymnastics world governing body FIG announced last week to expel DPRK from international competition through to October 2012 for falsifying Hong Su Jong's age. Hong won a gold medal on uneven bars and a vault silver.
Even if Hong made it to Guangzhou, she would have little chance to beat China's uneven bars princess He Kexin, who boasts amazingly difficult moves. He fell off the bar in Rotterdam worlds, snapping her stunning 15 successive wins in all tournaments, but she will not allow herself to have the same mistake in Guangzhou.
He already has Olympics, World championships and World Cup finals titles under her belt. The national champion, if winning in Asiad as well, will achieve an unprecedented "grand slam" for Chinese women gymnasts of winning all top events home and abroad.
On men's side, Japan can also threaten China on floor or pommel horse while South Korean Yang Hak Seon, ranking fourth in Rotterdam, will be a favorite on vault.
Special Report: 16th Asian Games