Sports\Team China

Ice hockey gets State-level backing ahead of Games

By Li Fusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-31 07:43

China is trying out a new training method for its ice hockey players in the hopes of improving their performance at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

One of the moves involves establishing the national ice hockey club earlier this year.

The new group, created by the Chinese Ice Hockey Association, the Heilongjiang provincial sports bureau and the HC Kunlun Red Star club in May, is an upgraded version of the previous model for organizing a national team.

HC Kunlun Red Star is the first Chinese team to play in the Kontinental Hockey League, an international professional league, with a top-class team of international experts.

Wang Zhili, a senior official in charge of winter sports at the General Administration of Sports, said the move will involve the team members in international games representing China and in representing the club.

That means they will have access to many more games than they would in the national team alone, and so be well prepared for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wang said.

The men's team goal is to qualify for the games and strive for a strong performance, while the women's team goal is to win a medal.

Richard Seeley Edward, head coach of the Chinese women's team at the Asian Winter Games, said ice hockey requires players' continuous participation in high-level events.

Edward said he is confident in the players' abilities, adding that what they need is more experience.

(China Daily 07/31/2017 page5)

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