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The seventh heat began, but Director Zhao was still concentrating on the independent recruitment.
Chuang Liu is one of our best students and has great potential. He should be able to knock Chen's socks off, Director Zhao thought, turning his head to the grandstand. Coach Chen had a noticeably bald head. Director Zhao found him easily.
Aha, there you are. Darn! Why do you look so sleepy? Don't you dare sleep! You should not miss Chuang Liu's performance! He's my hope! Director Zhao was so angry about Chen's indifference that he was almost not able to resist punching Chen's face to wake him up. But the next second, "Sleepy Chen" jerked his head up and jumped down from his chair. He was staring at the track.
Hooray! He must be amazed by our Chuang Liu! Look at him, he seems to have found gold! Whew! My good boy! Thanks to you I'm going to be the vice-president! Oh, my bright future! Director Zhao was beaming with happiness. He turned around to face the arena and was about to give Liu a hand.
Come on, Chu… Director Zhao wasn't able to finish cheering, because he suddenly realized that the leading person was not Chuang Liu, but someone else.
That's not Chuang Liu! That's Dai Li's student! How come he runs so fast?! Director Zhao recognized the competitor by his vest color. That was Qingliang Xu, the boy who he had just wished ill upon.
"How fast! Where is he from?"
"Unbelievable! Why didn't I hear about him before?"
"He is definitely qualified for official competitions!"
The audience was completely shocked. Together they gazed as Qingliang Xu crossed the finish line.
"10.75 seconds!" the timekeeper shouted loudly. The result caused a great stir.
"He must be the first one who ran under 11 seconds today!"
"He is good enough for higher level competitions, why is he here?"
"10.75 seconds timed by hand, which is 0.24 seconds clear of fully automatic timing. Even with the extra 0.24 seconds, he would still have 10.99 seconds, which is still less than 11 seconds!"
"This participant is gifted. After receiving professional training he should be able to race professionally. Even according to automatic timing, he was just 0.06 seconds behind the national first-class athlete qualifying standard!"
Qingliang Xu had now become the center of attention. While on the grandstand, Coach Chen couldn't wait anymore. He told his assistant, "Go get this participant's data."
The assistant nodded, starting to search for Xu's personal information.
Just as I expected, he is a senior high school student. If he is not a sports talent student, he is worth training, Coach Chen thought, heading for Qingliang Xu with his assistant.
Coach Chen is moving towards Dai Li! He must want to talk to the 10.75 second boy. Director Zhao looked ill as he watched Chen walk downstairs.
"Hurry, go inquire about Chen. What does he want?" Director Zhao instructed Coach Zhou. He trotted all the way there.
After a while, Coach Zhou trotted back. While still gasping for breath, he reported to Director Zhao, "Director Zhao, I asked about what Coach Chen and the boy were doing. The boy's name is Qingliang Xu. Coach Chen asked him for some basic information, such as age, school, training time, best performance, etc."
"That's it?" Director Zhao was relaxed a bit.
But Coach Zhou wasn't finished. He continued, "Coach Chen invited Qingliang Xu to attend the independent recruitment interview for the Provincial Sport University. Xu said yes."
"Invitation for the interview!" Director Zhao immediately went blank. This meant that there was only one place left for his students.
Unlike the Civil Servants Examination, the university independent enrollment system didn't have severe eliminations. For Physical Education Majors, an invitation for the final interview was equivalent to an admission to college.
Director Zhao glared at Dai Li with burning eyes. If someone else had been recruited he might have been OK with it. But it was Li's student! He really needed an outlet for his pent-up anger.
Now there is only one place left for the admission. I must get it! Otherwise the president won't recommend me, and I will never be the vice-president! Thinking about this, Director Zhao turned to Coach Zhou. "Who is the best student in our school?"
"It must be Lei Wang," Coach Zhou answered without hesitation. "He almost ran within 11 seconds every time in our assessments. If he performs normally, his result should be less than 11 seconds, as usual. If he could outdo himself, he could reach Qingliang Xu's record."
"Which heat is Wang in?" Director Zhao asked.
"The twelfth. Soon," answered Coach Zhou.
"He is going to run after three more heats." Director Zhao took a deep breath and said to himself, "Zhou, you do this yourself. Take Lei Wang to do some warm-up exercises, then emphasize some considerations. Remember, let him have full control."
"Hey Qingliang, you are so lucky. You have just been admitted to the Provincial Sport University. Congratulations on your excellent performance!" Dai Li smiled at Qingliang Xu.
The other students gazed with admiration at Xu. Their main purpose for training so hard was to obtain some benefits for being sports talent students, such as having a lower grade standard for college admission. However, if one could enroll in the university independent recruitment, which was equal to test-free admission, that was way better than being a sports talent students. Moreover, the Provincial Sport University was a pretty cool school that was quite difficult to be recruited to.
Dai Li continued, "All right boys! To those who haven't run yet, try your best. I wish you all good luck! Especially you, Haiyang Li. You are the best among us. If I recall correctly you are in the thirteenth heat. It's about time to compete. Be ready to go all out."
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