Chinese gymnast makes second appearance at Olympic games
Liu Xuan (pronounced Lyo Shuen) will be the first female Chinese gymnast to make a second appearance at the Olympic Games. Liu's goal is to capture a gold medal to go with the one she earned at the Asian Games in 1998.
"This year's Sydney Olympics may be my last big competition, so I am really confident of bagging a gold because I want to end on a perfect note," Liu says.
Liu is strongest on the balance beam and the bars, but her coach worries that international judges may be unfamiliar with the Chinese athletes and their competing styles, which could hurt their chances.
"The judges award scores subjectively, so if they appreciate an athlete and their movements, they then will award them a high score," says coach Lu Sanzheng. "But the problem is, we do not have much exchange with the rest of the world, so most international judges are not used to Chinese gymnasts - in fact, they tend to appreciate European athletes more."
After a fourth-place finish at the Atlanta Games, the 21-year old Liu hopes her experience and performance will help win the judges over when the women's gymnastics competition begins September 17.