Rio de Janeiro, July 24 (IANS) The first group of Chinese sportspersons from table tennis, swimming and women’s football teams, arrived in Sao Paulo’s prestigious Esporte Clube Pinheiros, the training base of Chinese Olympic delegation for the coming Rio Olympic Games.
According to the introduction from Chinese Olympic delegation officials, a total of 17 teams from the country will use the club in Brazil’s most populous city to train and acclimatse as well as to recover from jet lag ahead of the August 5-21 Games, reports Xinhua.
About half of the Chinese delegation’s athletes will go to the training base. The total of around 400, including athletes, coaches, officials and supporting staff are expected at Sao Paulo.
After their preparation in Sao Paulo, the delegation will travel 430 km northeast to Rio, where they will stay in the Olympic Village during competition.
Located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Jardim Europa, Esporte Club Pinheiros covers an area of 170,000 square metres, equivalent to about 10 football pitches.
The training base was decided following 18 months of negotiations between Chinese officials and the club’s administrators.
Esporte Clube Pinheiros is prepared to welcome Chinese athletes in the coming days as they recruited several volunteers to better serve the delegation.
Meanwhile, to minimize disruption to its 38,000 members, the club will schedule times for which its facilities will be available exclusively to China’s athletes.
The facilities have already been rented and will be at the disposition of China between July 22 and August 15.
The club already houses facilities for 15 sports: Table tennis, artistic gymnastics, swimming, badminton, football, tennis, rugby, water polo, volleyball, fencing, boxing, athletics, synchronised swimming, modern pentathlon and taekwondo.
China has also reserved a hotel close to the venue, booking most of the rooms available.
China is not the only team preparing for the Games outside Rio. Britain will use the Minas Tenis Clube in Belo Horizonte as their pre-Games base.
China will send 416 athletes, including 35 Olympic champions, to the Rio Olympics. This is the largest ever Olympic contingent China has sent overseas.
The Asian country had the second-highest number of podium finishes at the London Olympics with 88, including 38 gold medals. The US, which had 530 athletes, led the medals tally with 103 medals, among which 46 were golds.