Coach optimistic about China's short track chances in PyeongChang

Updated 2018-02-07 11:16:02 Xinhua

Chairwoman of China Figure Skating Association Shen Xue (L) hugs her husband, head coach of China's figure skating team Zhao Hongbo upon his arrival at Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 6, 2018. The 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games will kick off here on Feb. 9. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Li Yan, head coach of the Chinese short track speed skating team, kept expectations low heading into the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The coach told Xinhua on Tuesday that the whole team will focus on their own performance, not just the medals.

Chinese short track speed skaters, who have captured six gold medals at the last two winter Olympics under the guidance of coach Li, are set to be strong medal contenders again in Pyeongchang.

"We are working very hard to prepare for the Pyeongchang Games, and our skaters are very eager to compete here," Li said after the Chinese team's training on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's hard to predict how many gold medals we will win in PyeongChang. I have to say the competition is so fierce and anything could happen on the ice rink. That's the beauty of this sport," Li said.

"What we can do is focus on ourselves when competition begins and don't make any mistakes," she added.

Han Tianyu, silver medalist in men's 1500m in the Sochi Games, arrived in PyeongChang Tuesday afternoon after receiving medical treatment in Beijing for a back injury.

"Han is OK now, and he will begin training tomorrow morning here," said Li.

"It was not a big problem, but we just wanted to make sure with a thorough check."

The Gangneung Ice Arena will host 11 events and Li is pleased with the venue.

"The ice here is very good, and though it's cold outside, it's quite warm in the venue. All of us really enjoy living in the Olympic village and I think it's a good start for us," she said.

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