China will present its largest ever Olympic delegation this year at the Rio games next month.
416 athletes made up of 256 women and 160 men will represent the country in 26 sports as the country seeks to improve its position on the medal table.
China sent 396 athletes, 20 less than its current number, to the London Olympic games in 2012 and managed to grab the second spot on the medal table behind the United States with a total medal haul of 88 – 38 gold, 27 silver and 23 bronze.
A total delegation of 711 including 29 foreign coaches will represent China at the games, officials said on Monday.
Popular Chinese swimmer Ning Zetao, who was reportedly cut from the squad, will be in Rio, officials have assured. He is the firsrt Asian swimmer to win the 100m freestyle at the world championships.
The youngest member of the delegation is a 14-year-old swimmer, Ai Yanhan, who will compete in the women’s 200m freestyle and 4×200m freestyle relay. The oldest is 39-year-old Beijing Olympics shooting champion, Chen Ying.
Five-time Olympic gold medalist and gymnast, Zou Kai and teenage gymnast Liu Tingting are some of the notable names that are absent rom the squad. Tingting pulled out due to an injury sustained during training last week.
The United States which dominated the medal table at the 2012 Olympics will be sending some 127 athletes, 84 of whom are making their Olympic debut. 46 of these athletes already have medals from global championships while 19 of them are American record-holders.