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China vows to top medals table at Asian Games

GUANGZHOU, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- China will try to retain its top position on the medals table at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, a top Chinese sports official said here on Wednesday.

With two days left to go before the Asian Games officially get underway, Xiao Tian, deputy chief of the Chinese delegation, told a press coneference that despite its perennial dominance in the Asian Games, China takes the 2010 Games very seriously and hopes to fare well.

"China has won the most medals at the recent editions of the Asian Games (since 1986) and we hope to repeat that here in Guangzhou," said Xiao.

A total of 35 Olympic gold medalists, including 110-meter hurdles star Liu Xiang and badminton ace Lin Dan, were among in the 1,454-member Chiense delegation.

When asked about the number of medals Chinese athletes expect to win, Xiao said that he could not make an exact prediction.

"The results of sport competitions are unpredictable, but I can tell you that we will try to surpass our performance at the last Asian Games," he said.

Four years ago, China garnered a total of 316 medals, including 166 gold, 87 silver and 63 bronze.

Although there is little doubt China will top the Asiad medals tally once again, Xiao played down the expectations on the country's prospect in the three 'Big Ball' events, namely soccer, basketball and volleyball.

"Frankly speaking, our teams in the three 'Big Ball' events face an uphill battle here," said Xiao. "But as long as they try their best and go all out in the competitions, we can accept whatever their results are."

With the London Olympics looming, Chinese officials are placing a high level of importance on the Asian Games and are using it as a test for the 2012 Olympics in London.

"The Asian Games is a very precious chance to find our problems. We should make full use of it and get prepared for the London Olympics," said Xiao.

The 16th Asian Games, featuring 42 sports and more than 12,000 athletes, will take place from Nov. 12 to 27.

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