Chinese Olympians make final preparations in Sao Paulo training base
Sao Paulo, July 31 (IANS) Chinese athletes have arrived at Sao Paulo's Esporte Clube Pinheiros, the pre-games training centre of the Chinese Olympic delegation for the Rio Olympic Games.
According to the Chinese Olympic delegation, a total of 16 teams from the country will use the club in Brazil's most populous city to train and acclimatise ahead of the Games, scheduled to run from August 5-21. Considering the change in climate and jet lag from China, on-site training in Sao Paulo will be crucial for the performance of the athletes, reports Xinhua.
About half of China's Olympic athletes will go to the training base. The total number of Chinese representatives in Sao Paulo is 411, including athletes, coaches, officials and supporting staff.
Following their training in the Sao Paulo training base, scheduled to operate from July 22 to August 15, the teams will travel the 430 km northeast to Rio, where they will stay in the Olympic Village during the competitions.
Sun Yuanfu, Deputy Chef de Mission of the Pre-Games Training Camp of the Chinese delegation, said: "With the flight distance of about 17,000 km and flight time of about 22 hours, it is the farthest Olympic Games we have ever attended.
"In order to get used to the weather, environment and time differences, the Chinese Olympic Committee decided to build up a pre-Games training camp of Chinese delegation to Rio Olympic Games."
During these 25 days in the training camp, a total of 411 people will train here in 16 sports.
"Till now, table tennis, gymnastics and soccer team have finished their training and entered the Olympic Village in Rio already," Sun said.
"A total of 10 teams of more than 300 people are still training here, including swimming, badminton, boxing, canoe sprint, fencing, volleyball, weightlifting, waterpolo, synchronized swimming and golf," he added.
"After that, we will have taekwondo, wrestling and modern pentathlon arrive one after another."
Located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Jardim Europa, Esporte Club Pinheiros covers an area of 170,000 square metres, the equivalent of about 10 soccer pitches.
Esporte Clube Pinheiros prepared to welcome the Chinese athletes by recruiting scores of volunteers to help accommodate the delegation. Meanwhile, to minimise disruption to its 38,000 members, the club will schedule times to make the facilities available exclusively to China's athletes during their stay.
The club offers facilities for 15 sports: table tennis, artistic gymnastics, swimming, badminton, football, tennis, rugby, water polo, volleyball, fencing, boxing, athletics, synchronized swimming, modern pentathlon and taekwondo.
China has also reserved a hotel near Pinheiros, booking most of the available rooms.
China is not the only team preparing for the games outside of Rio. Britain will use the Minas Tenis Clube in Belo Horizonte as a pre-games base.
China will send 416 athletes, including 35 previous Olympic champions, to the Rio Olympics.
It is the largest Olympic delegation China has ever sent overseas.
China had the second-highest number of podium finishers at the London Olympics, with 88, including 38 gold medals. The United States, which had 530 athletes, led the tally with 103 medals, 46 of which were gold.