BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- China will use the upcoming 7th
Asian Winter Games as a platform for young aspiring athletes to
international exposure and experience as it unveiled on Friday a
youth-oriented delegation for the Asiad.
Short track speed skating Olympic champion Zhou Yang and figure
skating world champion Pang Qing/Tong Jian will lead the 221-member
delegation, among which 134 athletes are included. The average age
of athletes is 22.4.
A total of 90 athletes will make their debut at the upcoming
Winter Asiad, while 88 athletes didn't participate in last year's
Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Deputy head of Chinese delegation Xiao Tian said that the Winter
Asiad will be crucial in fostering a team for the 2014 Sochi Winter
"As Chinese team is still in adjustment after the Vancouver
Winter Olympics and some competitive athletes retire or miss the
Winter Asiad for some reasons, China will focus on training young
athletes rather than winning gold medal," said Xiao, who is also
the Deputy Director of the State General Administration of
Olympic and three-time world champions Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo
retired from figure skating after winning the Vancouver Winter
Olympic Games, while skater Wang Meng, who collected three gold
medals at Vancouver, is in the United States learning English.
Besides, Chinese women biathlon athlete Liu Xiangying and Kong
Yingchao both retired after sweeping all four gold medals in last
Winter Asiad in Jilin Province, China.
China, who sat on top of the tally four years ago with 19 gold,
19 silver and 23 bronze medals, will compete in 60 events of four
sports. However, the sports powerhouse keep a low profile this
Xiao pointed out that China will meet severe challenge from home
country Kazakhstan as this time the competition events change a lot
comparing with last time in Jilin, while China's traditional
strength snowboarding and curling are not included.
"Chinese young athletes will do their best and get used to the
large scale competition as quickly as possible," added Xiao.
The Chinese team will arrive in Kazakhstan around Jan. 24.
The 7th Asian Winter Games will run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 in
Almaty and Astana, with 69 gold medals up for grabs. Enditem