Future stars who could hit big names for Olympics

Updated: 2011-10-25 17:35


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NANCHANG, Jiangxi province - The 7th National City Games of China, an event designed for athletes aged under 20, has brought a number of budding stars to our attention, but already our thoughts are turning to the Olympic Games in London and even in Rio de Janeiro.

Following is a list of some of the young guns that we reckon may make a big splash on the Olympic stage in 2012 or 2016:

Future stars who could hit big names for Olympics

Ye Shiwen of Hangzhou swims to her victory in the women's 200m individual medley at the 7th National City Games in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi province, Oct 20, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

Ye Shiwen (swimming, 15)

Arguably the biggest name in the City Games, Ye is one of the great hopes for the future of Chinese swimming. Ye announced her arrival on the world stage when she captured the crown of the 200m individual medley in the world championships last July, beating a star-studded field including defending champion and world record holder Ariana Kukors and Australia's Olympic champion Stephanie Rice. She won five gold medals in the City Games, including 200m IM.

Shao Yiwen (swimming, 16)

Another exciting talent to emerge from Hangzhou's swimming team, Shao is an Olympic hopeful, too. She has been training with the national team for a year now and made a name for herself by winning five gold medals in five events at the City Games.

Zhu Yuling (table tennis, 16)

Zhu first impressed at the world junior championships last year, winning both singles and doubles titles. Her consistent play at the City Games earned thumbs-up from national team coaches. The shakehand player is widely regarded as the leading figure of the next generation of women's table tennis in China.

Sun Yujie (fencing, 19)

Sun is only 19 years old but has already established herself in the national side. Sun has surged up to No 1 in the world rankings in women's saber following her impressive show at the recently-concluded World Championships, where she took silver in both individual and team events. She won two gold medals at the City Games.

Future stars who could hit big names for Olympics

Tian Yuan of Wuhan competes in the women's 48kg weightlifting finals at the 7th National City Games in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi province, Oct 17, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Tian Yuan (weightlifting, 18)

Tian broke the world junior record for the clean and jerk in women's 48kg category at the City Games. Her winning lift of 120kg also came up just short of the world record of 121kg. Tian is tipped to be the successor to Chen Xiexia, the reigning Olympic champion in the category.

Lu Jiateng (athletics, 18)

Hailed as the next Liu Xiang, the first Chinese to win an Olympic track gold, Lu lit up the athletics competition at the City Games when he posted a scorching fast time of 13.32 seconds in men's 110m hurdles. But, as the hurdles were one meter high, 6.7 centimeters lower than those used in competitions for adult athletes, it takes time to see if the  teenager can live up to expectations.