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Taiwan to send 100-member delegation to London Olympics

2012/07/09 22:08:38

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Taiwan plans to send a 100-person delegation to the London Olympics that will include 44 athletes who have booked places in the Summer Games, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee said Monday.

After final deliberations, the committee decided to send Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee President Tsai Chen-we, Secretary-General Chen Kuo-yi, 51 support staff such as coaches, and three VIPs along with the athletes.

The delegation will be headed by Lin Hung-tao, the committee's vice president, the committee said.

The 44 Taiwanese athletes are entered in 14 sports at the London Olympics, with those participating in archery, taekwondo and weightlifting seen as having the best hope to win medals.

Taiwan's Olympic team won four bronze medals in Beijing in 2008.

Meanwhile, the committee received notification from the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Monday that it had lifted the ban on Liu Tsung-ta, the coach of Taiwanese taekwondo hopeful Yang Shu-chun, allowing him to coach Yang at the Olympics.

The suspension came after the 2010 Asian Games in November, where Yang was a gold medal favorite in the women's under-49 kilogram weight class.

She was disqualified with 12 seconds left in the first round of her opening bout when a referee ruled that she had inserted extra sensors in her socks to increase her chances of winning.

Liu then stepped forward to comfort Yang, who was angered to tears and sat in the middle of the mat in protest after being disqualified.

The decision aroused controversy and sparked outrage in Taiwan.

The WTF said in December 2010 that Liu and Yang were banned from competition for 20 months and three months, respectively, for interfering with the management of the competition and using illegal equipment.

The ban originally prevented Liu from going to the London Olympics. But after the Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association aggressively communicated with the WTF, the WTF decided to end Liu's suspension early, allowing him to make it onto the delegation's list, the committee said.

The taekwondo coach told CNA that he fully respected the arrangement made by the taekwondo association and said he will work his hardest at the quadrennial event.

"My responsibility has also become bigger," Liu said.

Yang was excited upon learning the decision. She said she has fully dedicated herself to preparing for the London Games since she decided to compete in the event.

(By Lee Yu-cheng and Nell Shen)