China to field 639 athletes at Beijing Games

July 25th, 2008 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 25 (Xinhua) Hosts China will field its biggest-ever Olympic team of 639 athletes to compete at the Beijing Games starting here Aug 8. The 1099-strong contingent will also include 460 officials, said deputy chef de Mission Duan Shijie.

Men’s 110 metres hurdles Olympic champion Liu Xiang, basketball star Yao Ming and diving queen Guo Jingjing will spearhead squad. China will compete in all the 28 sports.

Shooter Tan Zongliang, 37, is one of the only three athletes, for whom the Beijing Games is the fourth Olympics. The other two are basketball star Li Nan and two time Olympic women’s springboard champion Guo.

Thirty-seven athletes will enjoy their third Games while 165 have been to Athens.

“I’m getting better with good training. All I have to do is beat myself,” said Liu, who became the national hero by winning Chinese men’s first-ever athletics Olympic gold medal in 2004.

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