Chinese athletes have a chance to prove their country was no fluke in 2008 when the Asian nation hosted the world in Beijing. China can now move forward with its elite athletes as the Summer Olympics move to London later in July.
Casual fans can focus on five Chinese Olympians in particular for medal contenders:
Lin Dan, Badminton: The reigning gold medalist in badminton is considered by many to be the greatest badminton player in the world. Lin Dan won the 2011 world championships and is the favorite to defend his gold medal. Despite badminton being a European invention, Asian countries have dominated the sport. Of the 76 available medals since the sport was added in 1992, Asia owns 69 of them (90.8 percent), according to Sports Illustrated.
He Chong, Diving: One of several greats on the Chinese diving team, He Chong defends his 3-meter springboard gold from his home turf. His countrymen are no slouches, either--China won seven out of eight gold medals in diving four years ago and swept all 10 gold medals at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships held in Shanghai. The Canadian Broadcasting Company states all aspects of men's and women's diving are currently dominated by the Chinese.
Wu Minxia, Diving: An icon in her country, Wu Minxia also goes to London to find Olympic glory. The Associated Press reports this will be the young lady's third straight Olympic games. Overshadowed in the past by Guo Jingjing, Wu will be the favorite following the legend's retirement last year. China has won a diving gold in six straight Olympics in the post-Greg Louganis years.
Lu Chunlong, Trampoline: The defending trampoline gold medalist, like many gold medal gymnasts from Beijing in 2008, is a Chinese athlete. Lu Chunlong will be the favorite to repeat, along with He Wenna on the women's side. Although relatively new to gymnastics disciplines in the Olympics, China has done well in trampoline, according to Fox News.
Zhang Jike, Table Tennis: Table tennis has been owned by China since the sport was first introduced to the Olympics in 1988. Xinhua reports Zhang Jike is the defending world champion and top World Cup champ. He is the heavy favorite on an already dominant Chinese side. Countryman Wang Hao is the defending silver medalist and looks to take the competition up a notch for London. In the new format, head coach Liu Guoliang says the singles events happen before the team competition which increases pressure on his athletes to win. Of the 24 available gold medals in table tennis, China has won 20 of them.
William Browning has been a fan of the Summer Olympics since the games of 1984 in Los Angeles.
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