41 hockey centers built in China: hockey chief

Updated: 2013-09-02 13:24


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DALIAN - China has built 41 hockey training centers in order to raise the game in the country, Chinese hockey chief said here on Monday.

Lei Jun, president of the Chinese Hockey Association, admitted on the sidelines of the Chinese National Games' hockey tournament that China has yet to join the world's top teams even if the women's side had won a silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

"Hockey was introduced to China in the mid-1970s and the sport didn't make much progress until 2007 when the country decided to raise the game to a higher level," said Lei, also director of the Chinese Handball, Hockey, Baseball and Softball Administrative Center.

The Chinese women's team currently ranks seventh in the world while the men's side is 16th.

Lei said China has a 5,000-member pool of hockey talent, among them 2,000 are the "first and second-string players".

The hockey boss added the Chinese women's team is seeking an Olympic berth through the 2014 Asian Games.