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The phone on the office table rang. It was an intercom call.
Bin Lu picked up the phone. Someone on the phone said immediately, "Coach Lu, I am Weidong Chu. I have just received a file. It is the winner for the Youth Training Program."
"Forward it to me. I will let Xuexi Zhuang know later," Bin Lu said.
"The national team did not choose Xuexi Zhuang, they chose Dai Li!" Weidong Chu said delightfully.
"What? Say that again?" Bin Lu thought he had misheard him.
"Xuexi Zhuang is not the winner. The only candidate we've got in our province is Dai Li," Weidong Chu repeated.
Bin Lu was surprised. "This is strange. They had put Xuexi Zhuang's name on the list. How could Dai Li be the winner? Did we make a mistake or did the national team?"
"Don't be silly, Coach Lu. How could they have made a mistake? When we sent them the files, we did not only give them the name, but other personal information, as well as their CV. This can't be wrong. The national team has to run through all these files during the evaluation. They could not have mixed up Dai Li and Xuexi Zhuang! It is obvious that they did this on purpose!"
Saying this, Weidong Chu suddenly lowered his voice and said, "I didn't expect Dai Li to have connections on the national team."
Bin Lu realized now that the provincial team had reported Xuexi Zhuang's name, yet the national team had picked Dai Li. It was obvious that Dai Li had found somebody on the national team to fight for him. Remembering that Jinrong Hu had recognized Dai Li immediately the last time they had met, Bin Lu was sure he was correct.
I'm surprised that Dai Li has such a solid network when he acts so low-key every day.
Thinking of this, Bin Lu said quickly, "Forward me the file. I'm about to have a regular coach's meeting now, I will tell them about this."
In the youth track and field conference room.
"I've finished touching on some of the highlights. When you go back to your group, make a detailed plan based on the situation of your teams. Next, I have another thing to announce."
Bin Lu grabbed the file folder and took a piece of paper from it, then continued his speech. "I just received the notice from our provincial bureau today. They have released the winner of the Youth Training Program."
A smile suddenly appeared on Xuexi Zhuang's face when he heard this. He stood up, ready to get the notice from Bin Lu.
However, Bin Lu delivered the announcement in the direction of Dai Li and said, "Dai Li, there is some information below the list, such as the enrollment time, the location, and some other requirements. Read them carefully and prepare as it says to. Start packing when you get back and try to be there in advance. And don't forget to fill out the application for leave."
Dai Li stood up happily and handed in the file. On the other side of the room, Xuexi Zhuang stopped in his tracks. He was midway through standing, so he looked very weird.
Xuexi Zhuang did not feel embarrassed at all, and instead questioned Bin Lu, asking, "Coach, are you making a mistake? Why Dai Li? The provincial bureau chose me for the Youth Training Program!"
Bin Lu shook his head. "I don't know. The provincial sport bureau sent the file to the track and field team, and the track and field team sent it to our team. I just printed out what I was sent. Your name is not on the list, but Dai Li's is. Our team has to do what we are asked to. Why is your name not on the list? I have no clue. You can ask the provincial sport bureau for confirmation."
"This is impossible! How could I not be on the list?" Xuexi Zhuang looked at Dai Li.
Dai Li coughed briefly, then said, "Coach Zhuang, I didn't see your name either. Why don't you take a look at this file and find it yourself?"
Dai Li passed the notice to Xuexi Zhuang. Xuexi Zhuang grabbed it immediately.
There were about 30 names in total on the list. Xuexi Zhuang went through the list quickly and did not find his name, but he did not give up. He kept searching, again, and again…
Xuexi Zhuang's name was not on the list. No matter how many times he went through it, or even if he got so familiar with it that he could recite it, he would not find his name on it.
"What is going on? I was the one chosen by the provincial bureau! Why is my name not on the list?" Xuexi Zhuang doubted the authenticity of this file.
Although this paper was printed in black and white, and there was no red heading on it showing it was an important file, the stamp of the track and field administration center was clearly on it, which shattered Xuexi Zhuang's hope.
All the coaches around him looked at him with perplexed looks. Xuexi Zhuang could feel it was a look of mocking and teasing. He was now the object of ridicule and scorn.
It suddenly occurred to Xuexi Zhuang that recently he had been constantly bragging about the news that he would soon go to the national team to everyone on the staff of the team. Even the cleaners knew about it. But now, he was not the winner. Everyone saw him as a joke. It was humiliating!
In the youth team dining hall, the coaches were talking about the scene that had just taken place in the conference.
"What a nice show! When Xuexi Zhang heard "winner" and stood u. He didn't expect to not be on the list! Shame on him."
"It was so humiliating. If I were him, I would hide underground."
"He had been bragging so much, saying he would go to the national team and be trained there. Now he can't. I wonder how he is putting up with it."
"Shhh, stop talking. Xuexi Zhuang is near. Don't let him hear that."
They immediately stopped talking when Xuexi Zhuang walked into the dining hall.
Meanwhile, Chef Wang came out from the kitchen with a bamboo made basket, yelling, "Anyone fancy some steamed bread? I just made it, it smells good!"
Chef Wang put the basket with steamed bread down and raised his head. He saw Xuexi Zhuang walking towards him, holding his plate.
"Coach Zhuang, when are you leaving for the national team? Any news?" Chef Wang asked curiously.
Obviously Chef Wang hadn't heard the news that the list had been released, nor that Xuexi Zhuang had not been on the list. He asked only because the appearance of Xuexi Zhuang had reminded him of the news, as Xuexi Zhuang had kept saying that he would be joining the national team. However, this greeting sounded like mocking to Xuexi Zhuang.
Even a lame cook like you is making fun of me! Xuexi Zhuang cursed Chef Wang secretly and stared at him angrily. He threw his plate away.
"I'm done!" Xuexi Zhuang was furious. He turned around and went back to where he had came from.
Chef Wang was completely confused. He stood there, blinking his eyes.
"What happened? He hasn't finished his meal, why did he leave? Does the steamed bread taste awful?" Chef Wang looked at the steamed bread in the basket, confused.
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