China in canoeing/kayaking at Olympics

Updated: 2012-04-26 09:42


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BEIJING - Chinese athletes have obtained tickets in all the canoe/kayak events of the 2012 London Olympic Games, a senior official of the sport confirmed here on Wednesday.

"China has won tickets in all the 12 canoe sprint events as well as the four canoe slalom events in London," said Li Quanhai, deputy director of China's Water Sports Administration Center in a news conference here on Wednesday.

According to Li, China will send a young canoeing/kayaking team to London this summer, with their two-time gold medalists Meng Guanliang/Yang Wenjun already retired after Beijing Olympics.

"After the Beijing Games, 16 out of the 18 athletes from the national team chose to retire, with only two remaining in the current team," Li added.

Meng/Yang claimed the title of men's Canoe Double (C2) 500m event in the 2004 Athens Games, the first gold medal for China in this sport, before the seasoned duo came back from retirement to retain their Olympic title in Beijing in 2008.

But this time there will be no chance for Meng/Yang to repeat the tale of returning heroes even if they want to, since the event of C2 500m has been excluded by the London Games.

China's medal hope in London will be carried by Wu Yanan/Zhou Yu, who finished fifth in women's Kayak Double 500m event of last year's World Championships.

The canoe slalom competitions of London Olympics will be held from July 29 to August 2 at the new Lee Valley White Water Center, while the canoe sprint event will be held from August 6 to 11 at Eton Dorney, around 40km west of London.