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The Chinese Team Has Arrived

Posted March. 01, 2004 23:04,   


They`re here.

The 20-member Chinese team, which is facing Korea for the 2004 Athens Olympics soccer Asia region final preliminary round, arrived in Korea at Incheon International Airport on March 1. The squad headed straight to Hong-Eun Dong quarters, which is at the Grand Hilton Hotel, with no comments for the inquisitive reporters.

The Chinese team, which conducted closed confidential training in Shanghai where the weather is similar to Seoul’s prior to entering the country, released its starting lineup and changed its quarters reasoning that the Tower Hotel was too far away from the Seoul World Cup stadium as the team exerts its efforts toward the final.

In the announced starting lineup, the three main key players, Qu Bo (striker), Wu Chengying (defender) and Yang Chen (striker), were excluded. Instead, midfielder Zhao Junzhe (Schan) was immediately substituted. China’s head coach Sun Sangfoo briefly explained the reason as conditioning problems of the players.

The Chinese team will implement a closed training session at the Seoul World Cup stadium in the afternoon of March 2.

In the meantime, "Best Technician" Park Ji-sung (PSV) joined the Korean Olympic team in the afternoon training session as soon as he entered the country on March 1. Korean coach Kim Ho-gohn couldn’t hide his happiness as he commented, "We will draw a bigger scale of offensive attacks with all-around player Park Ji-sung joining the team."

At the morning training session of the Korean team, which was held in Paju NFC, around 30 Chinese reporters covered the activities. The Korean team, which at first planned to open the training to the public, allowed only 30 minutes of coverage due to their apprehension of strategy disclosure.

Soon-Il Kwon stt77@donga.com