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Chinese athletes captured 51 gold medals at the 2008 Summer Games and could potentially shatter that mark at the 2o12 London Games, thanks in part to the innovative athletic development methods they're using at Athletes' Performance.
Zhang Xiuyun won Silver at the '96 Games.
Now that you've met your U.S. Olympians, let's have a look at the Chinese athletes and teams that are expected to contend for gold in London.
Zhang Xiuyun, or ZXY for short, is the Chinese counterpart of American swimmer Dara Torres. She was a silver medalist at the ’96 Summer Games in Atlanta, retired from competition, and is making her Olympic return at the age of 36. She’s already won two World Cup gold medals this season, making her the odds-on favorite for gold in London.
Shooting—Rifle and Pistol
Olympic debutantes Yi Siling and Yu Dan will vie for gold in the 10m Rifle, while defending gold medalists Pang Wei and Tan Zongliang shoot for the men in the 10m Air Pistol. The first 2012 Chinese medalist will most likely be a shooter.
Men's and Women's Diving
A medal sweep in the sport of diving is eight gold medals. The Chinese divers captured seven of eight in 2008 in Beijing, and they have a real shot of completing the sweep in London.
The Chinese Table Tennis team is heavily favored to win gold.
Only two individuals can represent their country in the Singles event. Otherwise, the Chinese table tennis team would most likely complete a medals sweep in both the men’s and women’s events.
An inexperienced team coupled with the injury to vault and floor specialist Cheng Fei, a gold medalist in 2008, make this a rebuilding year for the historically dominant women’s gymnastics team. However, a rebuilding Chinese team is still a formidable squad capable of capturing a medal.
Photos: Courtesy of Athletes' Performance