Chinese athletes prepare for Rio Summer Olympics

CCTV News

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For the Chinese athletes in Rio, every minute counts. The weightlifting team, spearheaded by the Beijing Olympics medallist Long Qingquan, started practice soon after arriving in Rio on Wednesday.

CCTV’s Jiang Shaoyi reports.

Chinese athletes prepare for Rio Summer Olympics

Chinese athletes prepare for Rio Summer Olympics

For the Chinese athletes in Rio, every minute counts. The weightlifting team, spearheaded by the Beijing Olympics medallist Long Qingquan, started practice soon after arriving in Rio on Wednesday.

“My state in training is fine, and my physical condition is actually quite good. The most urgent problem might probably be controlling my weight and losing some in the final two days. But my weight is now not a big concern,” Long said.

The final warm-up for the country’s renowned table tennis team is going smoothly.

“We are probably having a prep meeting tonight, to give some advice and reminders to our athletes. For the opponents we might encounter in the first round, we will also watch their videos to prepare,” China’s Women’s Table Tennis Coach Kong Linghui said.

But the Chinese gymnastics squad are struggling with illness and injuries. Twenty-year old captain Shang Chunsong has also caught a bad cold, and it’s taking a mental and physical toll.

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But teammate Fan Yilin is upbeat, especially since the team won silver at the World Championships last year.

“I believe Shang can perform well at the competition, because, after all she’s very experienced,” Fan said.

China’s men’s basketball has a hard draw, with their first game against the two-time defending champions from the United States.

Whatever the outcome, the squad says the experience is valuable.

“We had two warm-up games against the U.S. and there is a lot for us to learn from them, such as how to deal with the ball on the court. The Americans are the top team in the world with the best players. They can show us how far away we are from the top level,” Forward Zhai Xiaochuan said.

See the statistics on the largest Chinese delegation to the Olympics.

China's Olympic delegation is largest yet

China's Olympic delegation is largest yet

China is sending it's largest delegation to the Rio Olympics. See a breakdown of their makeup.

The country’s first foil gold medallist Lei Sheng was chosen to be China’s flag bearer, ending 32 years of basketball players leading the delegation.

The 32-year-old, who comes from south China’s Guangdong province, won China’s first ever gold medal in the individual foil when he secured the title at the London 2012 Olympics.

“My country has assigned me this important task. I think this is a type of trust and acknowledgement. I feel proud of being a sportsman. It is of significance to for the first time select a fencer as the flag bearer at the Olympics. It’s a source of encouragement to me,” Lei said.

With 416 athletes, this delegation is the country’s largest ever for an overseas Olympics. Of that number, 302 of them are competing at the Olympics for the first time.