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Skating coach extends contract with China
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-05-17 10:51

( Li Yan: file photo )

Li Yan, who coached China's short-track speed skating team to all four titles in the women's events at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, has signed a new four-year deal with the team.

The 42-year-old, who took over the national squad in 2006, will lead the team to the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia, according to the new contract, which will last until April that year.

"Four years ago, I felt proud to instruct the national short-track speed skating team and now I have another four years that's fantastic," Li said at a press conference to announce the renewal on Sunday.

"It means a heavier burden and more responsibilities, especially after the success at the Vancouver Games, but I just want to work with the team towards another Olympics."

Li became the first Chinese short-track speed skater to win an Olympic medal when she finished second in the women's 500m at the 1992 Albertville Games.

She started her coaching career in Slovakia in 1999 and then went to the US four years later, where she instructed Apollo Anton Ohno to gold in the men's 500m event at the 2006 Winter Games.

A lot of countries made advances to Li after the Vancouver Games, where China dominated the medal standings with four gold and usurped the once mighty South Koreans, but she was determined to fight for more Olympic glory with the team, according to the local sport's authority.

"That glory was history once the girls stepped off the podium in Canada. We have to start all over again," Li said. "I know the next four years will be no easy task. South Korea, Canada and America are always very strong and Russia, who will host the 2014 Olympics, are also expected to be highly competitive."

What should make the second four-year term easier is the fact that her family, which has been living in the US since she first went there in 2003, is coming back to China this year.

Source:China Daily 
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