Wed, Sep 04, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Athletes gain new training ground as Tokyo Games nears

LAYING THE GROUNDS:Training facilities at the Taitung high school are being repaired and upgraded so they meet international standards

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

National Taitung University Affiliated Physical Education Senior High School principal Lin Hung-yuan, left, and National Sports Training Center chief executive Li Wen-bin hold copies of an agreement they signed yesterday at the Sports Administration in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

The nation’s athletes who are to compete in next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games gained another training ground after National Taitung University Affiliated Physical Education Senior High School yesterday signed an agreement with the National Sports Training Center.

The agreement was signed by principal Lin Hung-yuan (林鴻源) and center executive director Lee Wen-bin (李文彬) in Taipei.

The only training ground for national teams has long been the National Sports Training Center in Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District (左營).

Since choosing the Taitung high school as a second training site, the government has used some of the funding allocated for an expansion project at the center to repair the school’s dormitory and cafeteria, Lee said.

Many of the nation’s teams train at the center for a while before moving on to train at other locations, as a change of scenery is good for the mood of the athletes, as well as their training methods, Lee said.

The school sits on 33 hectares, with mountainous areas and a view of the sea, said Sports Administration Director-General Kao Chin-hsung (高俊雄), who witnessed the signing cermony.

The school has installed facilities that meet international standards, although the areas for track and field events, as well as the gymnasium, need new surfaces, Kao said.

Two new soccer fields, which could be used to train athletes and host competitions, are to be built at the school, he added.

Taitung is home to many outstanding athletes — including three-time weightlifting world champion Kuo Hsin-chun (郭婞純) and baseball player Yang Dai-kang (陽岱剛) — but most have relocated to senior high schools and universities on the west coast, affecting the development of ground-level and junior-level athletes on the east coast, Lin said.

More athletes would be motivated to stay on the east coast if the training facilities at the school are completed, Lin said.

In other news, Kao vowed to keep table tennis player Chuang Chih-yuan (莊智淵) on the national team, adding that the Sports Administration aims to put together the best table tennis team to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Over the weekend, Chuang said on Facebook that he would leave the national team because he would be unable to accumulate enough points to qualify for the Olympics after withdrawing from the Asian Table Tennis Championships and the Paraguay Open.

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