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China’s medal expectations at the Beijing Olympics

China doesn’t expect to win the largest number of gold medals at the Beijing Olympics this summer,
a senior sports official said here on Wednesday.

In several ways, China lags countries such as the United States and Russia, said Cui Dalin,
deputy director of the State General Administration of Sport.

"It’s the responsibility of Chinese athletes and coaches to strive for medals at the Games. But we
had never thought of winning the most gold medals," he said.

Cui, who is also a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political
Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of
the annual session of the top political advisory body.

The United States won 103 medals at the Athens Games in 2004 and Russia won 92, well above
China’s 63, Cui said.

Expectations for Team China to topple the sports superpower of the United States this summer
have been running high among Chinese, as the Olympics is to be held for the first time on their
home soil.

Chinese athletes are hopeful of winning medals in diving, table tennis, shooting, women’s
taekwondo and w e i g h t l i f t i n g. They have also made breakthroughs in some sports such as
boxing, rowing, sailing, fencing, men’s wrestling, pentathlon and trampoline, officials have said.

The Beijing Games demonstrates the support of the international community for China’s opening
up and reform policy and its economic and social development, according to Cui.

"Carrying out the Olympic spirit in the world’s most populous country is a significant thing. We aim
to promote friendship with people from other countries and improve the development of sports in
China," he said.