China will send 431 athletes, including 24 Olympic champions, to the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. The figures were confirmed as the Chinese delegation was unveiled in Beijing on Wednesday, state news agency Xinhua said.
The delegation, including 298 female athletes and 133 male athletes, will compete in 225 events at the Games, scheduled to open on July 23 in Tokyo. Among the 24 Olympic champions in the delegation, 19 claimed golds at the 2016 Rio Olympics while 293 athletes will make their Olympic debut.
“This is the largest ever Olympic delegation China has sent overseas,” said Gao Zhidan, deputy director of China’s State General Administration of Sport, adding that the delegation has a total of 777 members, including 30 foreign coaches and almost all members have taken COVID-19 vaccines.
Quan Hongchan, 14, who will compete in the women’s diving event, is the youngest of the delegation, while the 52-year-old Li Zhenqiang from the Chinese equestrian team will be the oldest Chinese athlete to be featured at the Games.
Women’s shot put world champion Gong Lijiao, two-time taekwondo Olympic gold medalist Wu Jingyu, men’s shooting world champion Pang Wei, Olympic race walk champion Liu Hong and Olympic trampoline silver medalist Dong Dong are among the most experienced athletes in the delegation as they are on their fourth Olympic trip.
China expects a haul of gold medals from traditionally strong sports such as table tennis, badminton, gymnastics, weightlifting, shooting and diving. “The aim of the Chinese delegation is to remain competitive in the gold medal tally.