1 August, 2009

Zou Kai Back in Action at Chinese Championships

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Zou KaiNearly a year after his surprise success in Beijing, triple Olympic gold medalist Zou Kai will return to competition this weekend at the Chinese National Gymnastics Championships in Xiantao.
Zou was the only gymnast at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing to win more than one individual gold medal. After helping the Chinese men cruise to the team title in Beijing, Zou won gold medals on floor exercise and high bar over more favored competitors.
After missing May’s National Games qualifier because of the flu, Zou said his goal is to represent his home province of Sichuan well this weekend and at the 11th National Games in September.
“Right now, all my training is going smoothly,” he said this week. “I hope to be able to adjust well, and bring glory to Sichuan at the National Games.”
After the retirement of Olympic all-around champion Yang Wei, the 21-year-old Zou is a top hope to bring China more success leading up to the 2012 Olympics in London. The Chinese men won all but one gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, held in August in the Chinese capital.
Zou plans to compete three events this weekend in Xiantao, where the competition will include 175 gymnasts from 24 teams. Other Olympic champions on the roster include three-time Olympian Huang Xu and 2004 Olympic pommel horse champion Teng Haibin. He Kexin, Yang Yilin, Li Shanshan, Jiang Yuyuan and Deng Linlin, members of China’s 2008 Olympic champion women’s team, are expected to compete. Superstar Cheng Fei, the sixth team member, is sitting out the competition to rest her injured leg.