China targeting debut gold

China's women plan a dramatic debut on the Olympic curling sheet in Vancouver later this month by sweeping their way to a surprise gold medal.


The band of students from icy Harbin, who live and train at Beijing Sports University, rocked curling circles when they won the world championship in South Korea last year.

After ranking second in the qualification for the Olympics, the former skaters are determined to upset hosts and favourites Canada at the February 12-28 Games.

"We try to be like five fingers on one hand that hold the fist together to make a team," Chinese skip Wang Bingyu, 25, told the Xinhua news agency.

"As newly crowned world champions and (an) Olympic rookie team, we will naturally be under a lot of psychological pressure. In order to focus on each rock, you have to turn that pressure into your power."

As curling, which originated in 16th-century Scotland, has a very short history in China, experienced Canadian Dan Raphael was brought in to coach the team after the last Winter Olympics.

"Definitely, my goal is to take the Chinese girls to the Olympic gold," he said.

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