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Guohong Niu had been defeated by Yue Zhao, and Dai Li finally began to sense some pressure.
The effects of both the explosive force halo and the morale boosting book couldn't help Guohong Niu defeat Yue Zhao. Guohong Niu was not as good as Yue Zhao, so he can't be blamed for this failure. Moreover, Yue Zhao performed very well in this match.
Dai Li thought about the race that had just ended. He thought Yue Zhao had performed very well indeed. If an athlete who had a major advantage could perform well in the race, his opponents wouldn't have any chance of winning.
Yue Zhao is really excited today. His celebration of the victory is very over-the-top. This is only the semi-final; it's not worth this kind of celebration.
Dai Li was upset about Guohong Niu's defeat. Yue Zhao was celebrating as if he had won the championship, which gave Dai Li the feeling that he was mocking his opponent. Because of this, Dai Li couldn't help glaring at Yue Zhao. However, Dai Li felt a bit strange as he was looking at him.
This is not just excitement; this is more of an emotional release. He is venting! It seems like Yu Zhao's mood is unstable; but he shouldn't act like this in the University Games with his competition experience. Dai Li frowned again.
The semi-final of the 100m sprint had ended. Onlookers started talking about what all had happened.
"Guohong Niu was defeated by Yue Zhao. Tsinghua University has been defeated twice!"
"Wow, even Guohong Niu was defeated; it looks like there should be no suspense to see who will win the championship."
"The strength of Tsinghua University is still tremendous, though, considering three athletes from the school have made the final."
"Yes, in terms of comprehensive strength, Tsinghua University is obviously stronger than the other universities. This time, though, Tsinghua University is unlucky. They have to face Yue Zhao."
"Yue Zhao really is skilled. I've heard Guohong Niu has been invited by the national team many times, but he is still no match for the athletes on the national team."
"It makes sense; the national team used to focus its development resources on Yue Zhao. If he hadn't retired because of illness, he would have already been a top sprinter in the world."
"That's true, but then again, it's been two years. What was the illness that caused his retirement?"
"I don't know. He left the national team suddenly and disappeared. If he hadn't made a comeback in these University Games, I would have forgotten his name."
Guohong Niu was embarrassed by the talking of the audience. He walked back to Dai Li gloomily.
"That's OK. Both victory and defeat are common for athletes. Don't worry about it." Dai Li continued his consolation, saying, "Yue Zhao used to be a top-notch athlete on the national team. He has been training much longer than you have; it makes sense that he defeated you. In addition, this is only the semi-final. We still have the final. Soon you will have your chance for revenge, right?"
"Coach, I'm afraid that I can't defeat Yue Zhao. He is very good!" Guohong Niu said after giving it some though.
"But you are younger than him! Yue Zhao is 26 and has no more potential to grow; you aren't even 22 yet, right?" Dai Li continued, "Being younger is your advantage. Even if you cannot defeat him now, as long as you keep training hard, you will definitely surpass him. I believe in your potential."
As a coach, Dai Li could not show any frustration or look flustered, even if his athletes were defeated in the matches.
Like the old saying went, you can lose in a battle, but you shouldn't lose your momentum. Even knowing that the opponent is very good, the coach should still express full confidence in their athletes. If the coach got worried before the match, the athlete would have no desire to continue fighting.
However, it was quite clear to Dai Li that it was very difficult to defeat Yue Zhao. Even the explosive force halo could not fill the gap between his athletes and Yue Zhao. The only way Guohong Niu could defeat Yue Zhao was to outdo himself during the race.
Outdoing yourself is something that's more so up to chance than choice. Guohong Niu has already been defeated once. It will be almost impossible for him to outdo himself in his current condition.
Dai Li looked at Sijie Yang. At this point, Sijie Yang was almost as good as Guohong Niu. Guohong Niu couldn't defeat Yue Zhao, and neither could Sijie Yang.
However, Sijie Yang's gift was A-level, which gave him a significant advantage over the other sprinters who were present, including Yue Zhao.
I can only count on Sijie Yang to outdo himself. He isn't an experienced athlete. However, just as the old saying goes, the newborn calf is not afraid of the tiger. Maybe his A-level ability can surprise me.
As Dai Li thought of this, he called Sijie Yang over to him.
"Are you nervous to participate in the final of a big event like this?" Dai Li asked.
"A little bit," Sijie Yang nodded, "But I'm a little bit excited too!"
"I still remember the day you returned, you told me you wanted to be an excellent athlete." Dai Li patted Sijie Yang on his shoulder and said, "This should be your first step to that dream—trying to defeat Yue Zhao!"
"Defeat Yue Zhao? He already beat Guohong Niu though. How can I beat him?" Sijie Yang asked. He did not sound confident.
"How could you know without trying?" Dai Li continued, "Your father didn't see success in every research project he did, right? He needed to conduct experiments and experience defeat repeatedly before finally reaching success. Hasn't he also achieved success through trying?
"It works the same for athletes. An athlete has to challenge and defeat multiple opponents throughout their career. Even when standing on the top of the world, an athlete can also try to outdo themselves!"
After hearing Dai Li's encouragement, Sijie Yang nodded, even though he did not fully understand what Dai Li was talking about.
Dai Li continued, "Don't put a pressure on yourself. What you should do is just try to get faster with each step. Understand?"
"Got it. There is no best, only better, right?" Sijie Yang asked.
"Yes, exactly." Dai Li was very satisfied with Sijie Yang's perception. Then he said with smile, "If you can't control your nervousness, just think about something that makes you happy."
The final match was about to begin.
Yue Zhao walked to the starting line. He looked to his left and to his right, where he found three athletes who were wearing identical sports gear.
They are from Tsinghua University, which means they are really skilled! Their athletes have filled up three of the eight places in the final match." Yue Zhao smiled disdainfully and thought, However, I've already defeated two of them. Today's championship will definitely be mine!
Guohong Niu was known as the Tsinghua University's best sprinter on the school's team. Yue Zhao figured that since Guohong Niu had been no match for him, it meant that Tsinghua University would not be able to stop him from winning the championship.
Sijie Yang was still a nobody, so Yue Zhao ignored him. The next moment, Yue Zhao looked in Dai Li's direction subconsciously.
A coach from the national team? Even though I don't know your name, you must have recognized me, right? Yue Zhao is back, this time with both of his legs! I'm going to take the championship from you! Feels pretty bad, huh?
Yue Zhao took a deep breath; he was determined to win!
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