August 5, 2008

China’s “Big Fish” Stay Away From Water Cube

China's "big fish" stay away from Water Cube

BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's swimming squad, which has been hiding from media over the months, finally made its first appearance at the Water Cube on Monday. But still, no big fish.

"Today's training is a test for our relay teams," head coach Zhang Yadong said, explaining why those big names, like Wu Peng and Qi Hui, were missing out on the training.

Zhang said the Chinese swimmers have been training at a downtown state training center. "They will move into the Olympic Village and start training at the Water Cube on Wednesday."

A total of 14 swimmers appeared at the Water Cube for the test. Xu Yanwei, who is expected to swim the women's 100-meter butterfly, said the results will be a reference to select swimmers who are going to compete in the relay event at the Games.

Xu, who is also in the entry list for several relay events, said she didn't feel very nervous even though the Beijing Games might be her last one.

"I am not so nervous, not yet. Perhaps after we get into the Olympic Village, I will feel the anxiety," Xu said, adding that she hopes the Chinese swimmers would "win more gold medals than we have got in Athens."

At the Athens Games, China won one gold in women's 100-meter breaststroke. Head coach Zhang said earlier that there is little hope for China to win even one swimming gold at the Beijing Games, and the team is striving for a podium finish.

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