China keeps low key at Asian Winter Games

2017-02-10 13:00:01 GMT2017-02-10 21:00:01(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese delegation for the eighth Asian Winter Games was launched on Friday, eight days before the opening of the Games, which is held in Sapporo, Japan.

The Chinese short track speed skating team is one of the strongest in the world, and it is expected to achieve good results.

Li Yan, head coach of the team, kept a low key about the expectation.

"Our best athletes will compete in the Asian Winter Games and they will try their best," said Li.

China has been strong in short track speed skating, but it has to meet the challenge from old rival South Korea and improving Japan and Kazakhstan.

"Our biggest rival will be South Korea," Li said. "The South Korean girls are very strong, especially in 1,000m, 1,500m and relay."

The most hopeful event is the women's 500m. World champion Fan Kexin will try to prove herself at the Asian Winter Games as she failed to do so at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.

"Fan is competitive in the whole season but I will not say she has any advantage compared with her opponents, " said Li.

"The Asian Winter Games is different from Olympic Games, but it won't be easy," Li said. "Our aim is to find our problems and know ourselves better."

China won two gold medals in short track speed skating at the Sochi Games, one was from the women's 500m, and the other was the women's 1,500m. South Korea also took two golds as they won the women's 1,000m and 3,000m relay.

It is expected the men's team achieve some good results, as Han Tianyu won the men's 1,500m at the 2016 World Championships, which was China's first gold in the event at Worlds, and Wu Dajing won the men's 500m at the 2016 World Cup in Shanghai. China also won the men's relay at the Shanghai World Cup.

"I really expect the Asian Winter Games," said Wu Dajing. "Because it is my first, and I think the good results will encourage me to do better in preparing the 2018 Olympic Games."

The Chinese short track speed skating team will leave for Japan on Feb. 17.