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With the Youth Game over, Haiquan Fang had gained his fame. It was not only because of his 7.84-meter record, but also because of his status as a second generation rich kid. These days, saying someone was a "second generation" was not a compliment. However, the fact that someone like Haiquan Fang had this status was even more attention-grabbing.
The day following the game, the sports team made a phone call to recruit Haiquan Fang. He could begin any time he wanted. There was no news from the national team yet. The news most likely had not reached them yet, otherwise they would have definitely done something already.
As news got around about Haiquan Fang, Dai Li's reputation grew accordingly. An athlete's success was not solely due to individual effort and talent; the coach's ability was the most important factor. A gem could not shine without proper cutting and polishing; an athlete was only ever a raw gem, no matter how gifted they were. How the gem turned out in the end largely depended on what the coach could do with them.
Raising one world champion in one's career was enough to put a coach on top of the world. A coach capable of developing a world champion was surely impeccable when it came to training and instructing. The process of making a world champion was precious as well. A general who had fought on the battlefield was surely far greater than one who had only made commands from an armchair.
Talented people were abundant in the world, but talent scouts were few and far between. If a talent scout was present, talented people would surely surround him. Similarly, for a training team of any level, excellent coaches were more important than excellent athletes.
Dai Li had proven his abilities earlier in the shot put friendly match. During the Youth Game, Dai Li had proven himself once again, and achieved even more success. Haiquan Fang, the Provincial Youth Game champion, had been noticed by the sports team right away; as his coach, Dai Li had become famous as well. Recruiters from the provincial sports team took notice of him.
If the sports team intended to recruit people from the youth team, the youth team could not stop their staff from leaving. It was natural for an employee to seek better opportunities. Moreover, coaches always wanted to instruct better athletes, not only to give themselves a better future, but also to feel a stronger sense of achievement.
Two people walked towards the training field. On the left was Bin Lu, the head coach of the youth track and field team. Next to him was a middle-aged man in his 50s. This was Weidong Chu, head coach of the track and field team for the provincial sport team.
Track and field had always been a major sport, as well as the most popular. Therefore, Weidong Chu was a coach with real power on the provincial sports team. Although he was not as powerful as Zhongyi Xu, he was not far behind him.
Weidong Chu was here to recruit someone. A genius athlete had been uncovered on the youth team, and Weidong Xu intended to be the first one to recruit him. After all, the youth team was a talent base for the sports team. It was inevitable that Weidong Chu would want to take Haiquan Fang with him.
In addition to Haiquan Fang, Weidong Chu planned to get to know Dai Li and test his abilities. He could always use one more talented person. However, compared to athletes, recruiting a coach was more complicated due to bureaucratic paperwork, which would take a longer time to process.
Coach Bin Lu certainly did not want Dai Li to be transferred. It was rare to have such a talented person. But Bin Lu could not stop him from leaving. In addition to good athletes, the youth team also provided good coaches to the sports team. Bin Lu was already used to seeing excellent coaches move on from the youth team to higher places.
"That one is Dai Li," Bin Lu said, pointing at the long jump bunker.
"Wow, he's young indeed!" Weidong Chu smiled and continued, "That's a good thing. Young people have greater potential and deserve more attention to foster. That applies to both athletes and coaches. Older people are already stuck in their ways, and are rarely open to changes."
Bin Lu waved at Dai Li to summon him. Seeing this, Dai Li came running towards Bin Lu and Weidong Chu.
"Dai Li, let me introduce you. This is Weidong Chu, head coach of the provincial track and field team," said Bin Lu.
"Hello, Mr. Chu." Dai Li stretched out his right hand immediately.
"Hello." Weidong Chu smiled with kindness and shook hands with Dai Li. He praised him, saying, "You are such a young and accomplished lad!"
Weidong Chu was here to recruit him, so he could not present himself too much as an official. He had to act amicable and approachable; nobody wanted to work with a poker face official all day.
They exchanged a few more words, with Weidong Chu asking a few casual questions about training. Eventually they began discussing what Weidong Chu was really there for.
"Dai Li, we need capable young people like you on our team. Would you like to join the adult team?" Weidong Chu asked.
Dai Li looked at Bin Lu. He wanted to say "yes," but it would be awkward to say so in front of his current boss.
Bin Lu was open and transparent. He said, "Dai Li, do not feel like you owe us. On our youth team, it is very normal for an excellent coach to be transferred to the adult team. You will have a better future there, and I will be happy for you. If one day you can become a coach for the national team, then I can brag that a top national coach came from our Hanbei youth track and field team!"
Dai Li could feel the sincerity in Bin Lu's words. He was not just being polite.
"Thank you, Coach," Dai Li said, expressing his gratitude towards Bin Lu. He then replied to Weidong Chu, "Mr. Chu, it would be my honor to join your team."
"Great, I look forward to working with you then." Weidong Chu looked satisfied. He continued, "Dai Li, bring us this genius athlete. I heard he is the heir to the Continental Corporation! I'm really curious as to why such a wealthy family is willing to send their child to long jump training."
Dai Li finally realized that Weidong Chu's real intention was to look into Haiquan Fang. Maybe Haiquan Fang would leave the youth team soon as well.
Weidong Chu watched Haiquan Fang train on the side, asking him to jump a few times. After several attempts, Weidong Chu's smile grew wider.
"What an excellent young man, a real genius! I have never seen someone better in all my years of coaching! It looks like the first national champion is about come from our Hanbei track and field team!" Weidong Chu said to himself.
As he was thinking this to himself, Weidong Chu's cell phone rang. After answering the phone, his smile disappeared, and his facial expression grew sour.
Bin Lu also noticed the change in Weidong Chu's facial expression. He wanted to ask what had happened, but was worried that it might be private business. He hesitated, and decided not to ask. After the phone call, however, Weidong Chu told Bin Lu about the loss himself.
"It would appear that I cannot take this genius with me!" Weidong Chu shook his head with a bitter smile.
"What is it? What happened?" Bin Lu asked.
"I was just notified by the provincial bureau that the coach of the national team is coming to Qingcheng for a visit. He is arriving tomorrow afternoon. He is coming for our genius here!" Weidong Chu looked helpless, but he could not do anything about it.
Compared to the provincial youth team, the Hanbei provincial track and field team lead by Weidong Chu was much better. Compared to the national team, however, a provincial team was inferior on many levels, both in training skills and facilities. Between the two, every athlete knew which was better.
Unlike Weidong Chu, Bin Lu was forcing himself not to show the happiness in his heart. A youth team athlete had caught the attention of the national team. This not only showcased Bin Lu's leadership, but also contributed a great deal to his legacy.
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