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China head coach says short track speed skating squad for Pyeongchang "almost confirmed"

Updated: 03 28 , 2017 14:06
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CHANGCHUN, March 27 -- Chinese short track speed skating head coach Li Yan told Xinhua on Sunday that her squad for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games has almost been confirmed.

"You have seen the squad for this year's World Championship; there will be no major changes in 2018," Li said.

Because of her duties leading the national team at various international events, Li says she didn't watch many national races during the winter.

"Wu Dajing, Han Tianyu and Fan Kexin will represent us in Pyeongchang, but they may not have a good situation in 2022, so I had to find some rising stars to complete our 2022 mission," said Li.

The 50-year-old is currently searching for prospective players in Harbin, Changchun and Jilin, aiming to see how teenage skaters from local teams are doing. She told Xinhua that the northeast Chinese provinces were all trying to cultivate promising youngsters, although they still have some problems to solve.

After the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, Li came back to China and became the head coach of Chinese national short track speed skating team. In the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games, her team won six golds, three silvers and one bronze medal.

China won two gold medals at the 2017 World Championship. The team included Fan Kexin, Guo Yihan, Zang Yize, Lin Yue, Qv Chunyu, Wu Dajing, Han Tianyu, Ren Ziwei, Xv Hongzhi and Shi Jingnan.

Fan Kexin, 23, snatched the gold medal in this year's ladies' 500 meters event. As one of the most popular rising stars in China, Wu Dajing defeated all his rivals in the men's 500 meters event at the 8th Asian Winter Games.

"The Pyeongchang games will start in the February 2018; time is running tight," Li said.

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