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Olympics: Chinese women's sprint team gears up for Paris Games



China's women's sprint cycling team are hoping to make it two gold medals in as many Olympic Games when they arrive in Paris. 

At the Tokyo Olympic Games, Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi won gold in a time of 31.895 seconds after the pair broke the world record in qualifying with a time of 31.804 seconds.

This year, Bao is joined by Guo Yufang and Yuan Liying because the event will include three riders for the first time. Guo will race in the first lap and Yuan, the youngest, will go last. 

The 26-year-old Bao, having won gold in Tokyo three years ago, is the most experienced rider and understands the pressure that comes with being an Olympic champion.

"The Tokyo Olympic Games was one of the most important competitions I had competed in," said Bao, Tokyo Olympics team sprint gold medalist.

"Prior to the Tokyo Games, I had never been to a world championships or an Asia championships, only the world cup. I was so nervous before the Games that I would dream of competing with Germany while I was sleeping," Bao said. 

"After topping the podium in Tokyo, I became even more anxious when competing because I felt the burden of being an Olympic champion. I was afraid of making mistakes or losing to opponents who are younger than me. I put a lot of pressure on myself at that time," she recalled.

"I think the most important thing for three of us now is to win a race, and that will greatly boost my confidence," she added. 

(Cover: Bao Shanju of China. /CFP) 

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