Trampoline is a newcomer to the Olympics, as it became an Olympic sport just eight years ago in Sydney.
China is also a newcomer to the sport, with a professional history of less than a decade.
However, many have predicted that it is possible for Chinese trampoline athletes to shine at the Beijing Olympics.
The national trampoline squad was set up only in 2002 but, relying on its experience in artistic gymnastics, China saw a rapid progress in the discipline.
Huang Shanshan, then 18, participated in the Athens Games, and won a bronze with acrobatic flips and twists.
It was the first Olympic trampoline medal of China, and Huang continued to improve after the Games, despite facing challenges of China’s upstarts.
She has raised her routine’s difficulty to 14.7 since last year, the same as that of Russia’s Irina Karavaeva, who won the inaugural Olympic event in 2000.
In the men’s individual, Ye Shai and Dong Dong have also begun to show the potential to capture an Olympic medal for China.
They took gold and silver respectively in last year’s Trampoline/Tumbling World Championships in Quebec, Canada.
Zhao Jiawei, official from the gymnastics center of the General Administration of Sport of China, said: “Whoever can make better use of his or her potential to stage a perfect performance, he or she will be rewarded the gold.”
Karavaeva is the main challenger to Huang’s bid for the Olympic title, while Canada’s Karen Cockburn, a two-time Olympic trampoline medalist.
In the men’s individual, defending Olympic champion Yuri Nikitin of Ukraine, veteran gymnast Henrik Stelik from Germany who was 2004 Olympic bronze medalist and Japan’s Yauhiro Ueyama are competitive challengers of the Chinese athletes.
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）