China announces 886-athlete team for Hangzhou Asian Games

2023/09/13 16:23

Members of Chinese delegation for the Hangzhou Asian Games attend the inaugural meeting of the delegation in Beijing, China's capital, on Sept 12, 2023. (Xinhua/Jia Haocheng)

BEIJING, Sept 12 (Xinhua) -- China announced a delegation of 1,329 members, including 886 athletes, for the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games on Tuesday.

The 19th Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province from September 23 to October 8, during which 437 female and 449 male Chinese athletes will partake compete in 407 events of 38 disciplines.

Among the Chinese athletes, who have an average age of 25, 36 are Olympic champions.

"I hope that people from all over the world can join us to enjoy Chinese culture in Hangzhou. China's gymnasts are getting ready to show ourselves on the Asiad stage," said Zou Jingyuan, an Olympic champion who clinched two gold medals at the Chengdu Universiade in August.

China's Bao Shanju, who won gold in the cycling track women's team sprint at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, said, "Our team participated in many international events this year to prepare for the Asian Games. We trained hard and felt confident of achieving our best in Hangzhou."

For former Olympic champion Lei Sheng, the journey to Hangzhou will be the second time he takes part in the Asian Games as a fencing coach, after having competed in three previous Asiads.

"It is a different mindset as a coach. I need to try my best to help the athletes improve their skills and performances at international events," Lei said. "The Asian Games is a great opportunity for them to learn from athletes of other countries (and regions) and gain experience."

As there will be 630 Chinese athletes making their debut at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, Lei said that young competitors must be brave to win. "Don't just focus on the results, but the competition process," Lei noted.

Gao Zhidan, director of China's General Administration of Sport, delivered a speech to the delegation on Tuesday, encouraging athletes to attain new heights in both the Hangzhou Asiad and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

"The whole team should make concerted efforts to demonstrate China's sporting strength. The Hangzhou Asiad also represents a great platform for cultural exchanges between the Asian countries and regions towards a shared future," Gao said.

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