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After a long, embarrassing silence, everyone began speaking confusedly, as if they were in the stock market.
"Feixiang Lin? How could he submit application? Is he not clear about his status?"
"Is he making fun of us? How can he compete in such a big game? I bet he cannot even stand straight on the field."
"How dare he ignore the bigger issue! We have been tolerating him this entire time, not asking anything of him, yet now look what he has done! Is he doing this for fun?"
"To tell the truth, I remember that Feixiang Lin had gone to training on time right before we went to the highland."
"Well he did, but did you ever notice what he was doing? He was practicing broadcasting gymnastics, and his coach was with him! What were they doing, having a kindergarten party?"
Hearing the mean-spirited gossip, Coach Ding was uncomfortable.
As the chief coach of the national athletics team, Coach Zhao had spent most of his time in Huajing. He had only heard about Feixiang Lin from the others. The other coaches in the room, including Coach Ding, had just gotten back from highland. None of them knew how hard Feixiang Lin had been practicing the last month; they only remembered the irresponsible Feixiang Lin who had been busy practicing the fat loss exercise.
Coach Zhao waved his hand, signaling to the crowd to calm down. He then looked at Coach Ding and asked, "Coach Ding, both Feixiang Lin and Teng Dong are your students. Who do you think would be better for the competition?"
All the other coaches looked at Coach Ding. Because he was the chief coach for hurdles, his opinion was valued very highly.
Coach Ding lowered his head a bit, as if he was considering the decision. What was really taking place, however, was that he was struggling to decide.
Feixiang Lin submitted an application. Did he just have a sudden impulse to compete or has he really turned over a new leaf? Coach Ding was hesitating to make the decision.
Deep in his heart, Coach Ding still hoped that Feixiang Lin could make up for everything he had put everyone through. He wanted to see Feixiang Lin on the field again.
Coach Jun Fang took note of Coach Ding's struggle. They had been friends for years, and were both top-level coaches. Coach Fang had also developed world-champions, just like Coach Ding. Therefore, he understood what Coach Ding was going through.
"I suggest we move on to the next participant. Let's give Coach Ding some time to consider it," Coach Fang said. He was trying to give Coach Ding some time to figure out his predicament.
Unfortunately, Chief Coach Zhao did not share the same sentiments. He said, "I have heard a few things about Feixiang Lin. We had made an internal agreement that whenever journalists ask about Lin, we would say that he has recovered pretty well. But now, if we send him out, his actual status will be revealed. As Coach Ding previously mentioned, we will face strong competitors. If we send Feixiang Lin and he loses, we will lose a lot of fame."
Coach Zhao looked around the room, then continued, "I suggest we send Teng Dong to the competition!"
His words were the final deciding factor for the participant.
"My application did not pass. They decided to send Teng Dong to the competition," Feixiang Lin said with disappointment.
"Then what is your plan? Talk to Coach Ding again?" asked Dai Li.
"I heard that it was Chief Coach Zhao's decision. If that is the case, it will be a waste of time to talk to Coach Ding. He cannot change Zhao's decision. Moreover, Coach Ding must still be disappointed with me." Lin sighed again, then said, "I guess I can only wait for the next opportunity. I plan to start in the low-level national competitions first."
"Well, if you really want to go to Qatar, there is a way," Dai Li suddenly said.
"You have an idea? Tell me!" Feixiang Lin requested hurriedly. He completely trusted Li. He had blind faith in Li's power.
"To be honest, it is not a good idea." Dai Li then leaned forward with a sense of embarrassment, lowered his voice, and said, "I say you intimidate them!"
"Intimidate? What do you mean?" asked Feixiang Lin with confusion.
"Thank about this. There are journalists eagerly waiting for the results, what if you tell them that you will be in Qatar?" Dai Li said, trying to show his profoundness.
But in Feixiang Lin's eyes, Dai Li looked crafty, and was filled with bad ideas.
At the gate of the Beikou Training Center, many journalists were waiting for the latest news.
"I hear that Chief Coach Shuren Zhao is in the training center. I wonder if I will have the chance to interview him!"
"I do not think so. You know the training center takes care of everything. Coach Zhao lives there with no worries. He would not come out even if he had nothing better to do."
As they were talking to one another, someone walked out from the gate.
"Wait, that guy looks like Feixiang Lin!" The photographer zoomed in to get a better look.
"It's really him! Feixiang Lin!"
The next second, all the journalists got excited. They rushed to the gate to mob Feixiang Lin.
"Mr. Lin, there is news saying that you have recovered and begun training again, is it true?" a journalist shouted from afar.
Feixiang Lin nodded. "I'm completely recovered. I have been training for a long period of time. I would say that I have gained about 90% of my original ability back."
"90%? Then when do you plan to return?" someone else asked.
"I'm always ready. But it depends on the national team." Feixiang Lin paused, then continued, "Next month, in Qatar, the IAAF Diamond League Great Prix will be taking place. I hope I can be there. I have submitted my application, I'm just waiting for the team's final decision."
Feixiang Lin's application had been rejected, but he covered it up in front of the journalists.
The next day, Feixiang Lin's comeback became headline news in traditional newspapers, online media, and news apps.
Feixiang Lin was a national idol. His fans had been waiting for his comeback for two years, and now they were all going crazy over the news. Every sports media outlet was covering the news about Feixiang Lin. Some groups of fans had even flown to Qatar, waiting to witness his return.
After hearing the news, CCTV had immediately contacted the Qatar TV broadcaster, hoping to send a special team to Qatar for a live broadcast.
Although Qatar was more active, they began to make advertising posters for Feixiang Lin in order to broadcast their game. On the Doha Competition official website, Feixiang Lin's picture was displayed along with the other superstars.
Qatar was a very rich country; they did not lack money. The original purpose of Qatar hosting the competition was to obtain some fame for the city, which was why they had welcomed athletes from around the world to join the competition. As the only Asian world-record holder in sprinting events, if Feixiang Lin could visit Qatar, there was no reason to reject it.
But the national team had been caught by surprise. They were now stuck in a sticky situation.
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