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Chinese ski jumpers challenging Finn peers after training in Finland

Published : 21 Jan 2020, 20:02

Updated : 23 Jan 2020, 01:03

  DF-Xinhua Report

Zhou Fangyu of China competes during the women's individual ski jumping event at 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games at Les Tuffes Nordic Centre in Les Rousses, France, Jan. 19, 2020. Photo Xinhua/Yang Shiyao.

Chinese young ski jumpers, who started training more than one year ago in Finland, are expected to outperform their Finnish peers soon, reported national broadcaster Yle on Tuesday.

Finnish coach Mika Kojonkoski, who started to train a group of Chinese ski jumpers in November 2018, told Yle that the Chinese youngsters have already caught up with the level of Finnish young athletes.

Currently there are 26 Chinese ski jumpers in training in Kuopio, eastern Finland.

In just 14 months of training, the Chinese youngsters aged 14-18 years old have made amazing progress, even though they had practically no experience from ski jumping or skiing of any kind, and some of them even had not seen snow before arriving in Finland, said Kojonkoski.

In the Finnish national competition held last week in Lahti, southern Finland, some members of the Chinese training group reached an excellent 60 meters on HS-70 skiing jumping hill.

Kojonkoski attributed the achievement made by the Chinese trainers to the background of China's mass sports, the young ski jumpers' hard-working and positive attitudes.

The Chinese ski jumpers practiced considerably more than Finnish youngsters. They usually practice for about 30 hours a week. About 40 percent of the training is ski jumping, and other exercises include skiing skills in cross-country skiing and downhill skiing, according to Kojonkoski.

 "The amount of practice is definitely much more than others at that age," Kojonkoski was quoted as saying, adding that is good for young people in the long term.

He told Chinese media earlier that he believes Chinese trainers have more training than any ski jumpers in the world.

When he signed the job contract with China in September 2018, Kojonkoski said that it is possible for Chinese ski jumpers to make a breakthrough at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.