China will look to lead the table in the Asian Games
Incheon (South Korea), Sep 16 (IANS) China will aim to dominate the Asian Games medal table for the ninth consecutive time and has sent a large squad to Incheon for the continent's premier sporting event. China's team of more than 1,300 athletes and officials will participate in all, but one of the 36 disciplines - kabbadi - at the September 19 to October 4 Games, with 33 Olympic champions in its squad.
"We consider the Asian Games an important part of our preparation for the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympic Games," said Xiao Tian, deputy chef de mission of Team China.
"We hope that our athletes can show their fighting spirit and sportsmanship at the Asian Games and maintain our number one position in the medals table." At the last Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010, China topped the table for the eighth consecutive time with 199 gold medals. They grabbed 416 medals overall, way ahead of South Korea (232) and Japan (216).
China is expected to dominate events like table tennis, gymnastics, diving, badminton, weightlifting, and track and field, while fielding competitive athletes in other disciplines, with a total of 439 gold medals up for grabs.
China's badminton coach Li Yongbo is hoping his team can win all seven gold medals on offer, with legendary badminton star Lin Dan, known as 'Super Dan', and reigning world women's single champion Li Xuerui included in the line-up.
In track and field, China is hoping to better the 13 gold medals won in Guangzhou, with hopes highest in men's long jump, women's shot put, discus and long-distance running.
But, China's top athletics star Liu Xiang, yet to regain fitness following a foot injury which forced him out of the London Olympics, will not be able to defend his Asian Games title.