Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming marries his 7-year girlfriend Ye Li
China's newly wed basketball sensation, Yao Ming, said babies would take a back-seat to Olympic preparations as the host country began the one-year countdown to the 2008 Beijing Games.
The 7ft 6in (2.26 meter) Houston Rockets centre, who wed his 6ft 2in basketballer girlfriend Ye Li at a private ceremony in Shanghai on Monday, was briefly caught off guard when China's Olympic hurdling champion, Liu Xiang, asked about his family plans on Tuesday.
"Having children...there's no plan at present. I will be concentrating on preparing for the NBA season and next year's Olympics," Yao said in comments published on Chinanews.com on Wednesday.
"To participate in the Olympics in your home country, it's an opportunity I will really cherish," Yao said.
Yao also revealed that his wedding ceremony, at which dozens of security guards kept a massive media throng at bay outside a Shanghai hotel, was deliberately timed.
"Getting married on August 6 was to use the focus of the Olympics to divert attention away from my wedding," he said, keeping tight-lipped about honeymoon plans.
On Wednesday, China marked the one-year countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics which will start 8.08 p.m. local time on the eighth day of the eighth month. Eight, unsurprisingly, is a lucky number in China.