Chinese Olympic Squads Named
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Chinese Olympic Squads Named
By Elizabeth Grimsley
The final stretch is upon us, so it’s only fitting that more and more Olympic teams are being named. Today the Chinese officially announced their men and women’s Olympic teams that will travel to London to compete to defend their title they won four years ago in Beijing.
The five men that were selected to be on China’s 2012 team include Zou Kai, Chen Yibing, Zhang Chenglong, Teng Haibin, and Feng Zei. They will also take along Guo Weiyang and Yang Mingyong as their two alternates.
Defending Olympic champion on floor and high bar Zou Kai and defending Olympic champion on rings Chen Yibing lead this men’s team. Zhang Chenglong is the 2012 World Champion on the high bar and Teng Haibin specializes on pommel horse where he won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. The final member on the team is Feng Zhe– 2010 gold medalist on parallel bars. The men may not have a strong all arounder, but they have a very good chance of winning gold on any of the six men’s apparatus in London.
For the women, the situation is different. The official five-member team has not yet been named, but instead a seven member training squad was announced. With four gymnasts considered locks, the remaining three women on the squad will battle it out in these last few weeks for the remaining position. The training squad includes locks Yao Jinnan, Sui Lu, Huang Qiushuang, and Deng Linlin with He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan, and Tan Sixin fighting for the final spot.
Sui Lu was the gold medalist on balance beam at the 2011 World Championships, and Yao Jinnan took home bronze in the all around as well as the silver on beam behind her teammate. Huang Quishuang has been on the international stage for a while, where she picked up the bronze medal on the uneven bars at the 2009 Worlds. However, she is most known for her eclectic leotard choices on the world stage. Deng Linlin is the veteran on the team. She was a member of the gold medal winning Chinese team at the 2008 Olympics. Since then, she has picked up a gold and silver medal on beam at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships, respectively.
Looking at results alone, this Chinese team is somewhat weak on vault and floor while they excel on beam and bars. The remaining three gymnasts should look to fill these gaps. He Kexin– defending Olympic uneven bar champion– would be taken for her bar routine and her bar routine only. However, she didn’t help her case when she reportedly fell on that very event at the internal competition the Chinese team had last week. Jiang Yuyuan– member of the 2008 gold medal winning team as well as silver medalist in the all around at the 2010 Worlds– has been bitten by the injury bug the past few years and Tan Sixin, well-known as a junior, hasn’t been the star they once thought she would be. She was a member of the bronze medal winning team in Tokyo at last year’s World Championships, but has really no other major accomplishments.
The question now for the women’s selection committee is whether or not they want to gamble on a big bar score from the somewhat inconsistent He Kexin or go for an all around gymnast in Jiang Yuyuan.
Check back here to find out who won the remaining spot for the Chinese women and join the conversation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/insidegymnastics & Twitter @insidegym. Look for more coverage in the next issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine! http://www.subscribeig.com.