China choose Leeds as base for 2012 training

Leeds has been selected as the official training base for China's athletes ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

About 300 athletes, coaches and support staff representing China in at least 11 sports will be based in the city as they acclimatise to conditions.

The initial benefit from hosting the team is expected to be a minimum of £250,000. The leader of Leeds Council, Keith Wakefield, said it was "a historic and magnificent achievement" for the city.

A deal had previously been announced in March for Leeds to be the training base for the China track and field team. Now Chinese officials have decided to make the city their official European pre-Games headquarters for their Olympic programme.

The athletes coming to Leeds will be representing their country in mountain biking, fencing, modern pentathlon, athletics, swimming, women's water polo, women's handball, women's hockey, table tennis, boxing and tae kwon do.

The majority of sportsmen and women will be based in accommodation at the University of Leeds.

They will train in facilities at the city's two universities as well as the John Charles Centre for Sport and venues further afield such as Dalby Forest for mountain biking, Bishop Burton near Beverley for modern pentathlon and Wakefield for hockey.

Among the athletes expected to train in Leeds will be 100m hurdler Liu Xiang, who is among the favourites to win gold in London.

The agreement is expected to provide a major long-term boost to trade and tourism as well as strengthening cultural ties with China.

"For China to choose Leeds as their official pre-Games European base is a phenomenal honour," Wakefield said, "and its effect will go way beyond the financial benefit or simply raising the profile of our city."

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire and chair of Yorkshire Gold, added: "We see China as a significant long-term investment."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests