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Optimism may be golden but reality may not glitter so brightly. With London calling athletes from all over the world, hopes of a medal haul for China to match the golden times of four years ago may be premature.
Sports Minister Liu Peng put expectations into context as he announced the Olympic delegation in Beijing on Tuesday.
The delegation consists of 621 officials, athletes and coaches. Competing for medals will be 171 men and 225 women.
The average age of the squad is 24.68 years and 244 of them have no previous Olympic experience.
"In every sport, whether you are strong or not, you have to be prepared to face unprecedented challenges," Liu said.
Four years ago in Beijing, China topped the medal table with 51 golds.
It will be more difficult this time without home advantage and many of the tops stars have retired or are injured.
"Four years ago, we achieved remarkable accomplishments. In London, China will be under the spotlight to see if we can repeat the feat," Liu said.
"But the reality is tough. In the past four years, other countries and regions have prioritized Olympic preparations. We have to be fully prepared for all the difficulties and challenges."
Big names and gold medalists such as Zhang Yining, Zhang Ning, Guo Jingjing, Yang Wei and Cheng Fei, from the traditionally strong events, like table tennis, badminton, diving and gymnastics, are absent.