Olympic bronze medallist Dai named to Chinese squad ahead of Tokyo 2020

London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Dai Xiaoxiang is one of the 16 archers named to China’s Olympic squad for 2021.

The shortlist was selected after trials in Sichuan that pitted the previous national team against four standouts from a nationwide selection. Three men and three women from the final 16 will ultimately fill the team quota places that China has already secured for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Alongside Dai, who has only competed once internationally since 2015, is Feng Hao, who was part of the recurve men’s team that won gold at the last world championships, and Rio 2016 Olympian Wang Dapeng.

Reigning recurve women’s Asian Games Champion Zhang Xinyan and world-number-three Zheng Yichai are also on the squad.

“The cancellation and postponement of events due to the pandemic has affected our team a lot,” a Chinese team official said. “Many young athletes were unable to get more competition experience, and their results fluctuated greatly.”

In the wake of ongoing uncertainties, China is turning to experienced archers like Dai in the lead-up to the Olympics.

The province of Shandong, which contains the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage host city of Shanghai, has contributed the most archers to the national team, with five of the 16. Jiangsu, just to the north, follows with three.

The eight recurve men on the squad are Wang Dapeng (Shandong), Li Jialun (Shandong), Zhao Xueyin (Shandong), Wei Shaoxuan (Jilin), Dai Xiaoxiang (Fujian), Lin Liangwen (Guangdong), Ren Jinke (Sichuan) and Wang Yan (Jiangsu).

The eight recurve women on the squad are Zhang Mengyao (Shandong), Zhang Xinyan (Jiangsu), Lan Lu (Shandong), Zheng Yichai (Zhejiang), Wu Jiaxin (Shanghai), An Qixuan (Xinjiang), Long Xiaoqing (Tianjin) and Yang Xiaolei (Jiangsu).

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