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At 10PM, most athletes were falling asleep. Dai Li and Yue Zhao had just gotten back to the dorms. Yue Zhao was too tired to move; he couldn't get up the stairs without Dai Li's help.
In fact, Dai Li was doing no better than Yue Zhao. Being a coach was exhausting work; after a day on the training filed for most of the day, Dai Li could barely keep himself standing.
But Dai Li felt that since he had made the switch from the explosive force halo to the endurance halo, Yue Zhao had indeed kept up his energy level longer during training.
Yesterday, Dai Li had not used the endurance halo; by 8PM, Yue Zhao had been too exhausted to even raise his foot. But today, after Dai Li had used the endurance halo, Yue Zhao had held on until 10PM.
Pity that I can only use one halo at a time. If I could use both the explosive force halo and the endurance halo, that would be great! Dai Li sighed.
Halos could only be used one at a time, which annoyed Dai Li. If he chose the endurance halo, he couldn't use the explosive force halo, and vice versa. In other words, Dai Li could only choose between increasing explosive force or enhancing endurance.
Luckily, in track and field, such a selection was not hard to make. For running, jumping, throwing events, etc., the explosive force halo was the best choice; when it came to middle- or long-distance running, race walking, etc., the endurance halo fit athletes better.
If it was another activity, such as basketball and football, it would not be as easy to make a choice. Athletes needed explosive force to break through opponents' defense, as well as to perform some difficult actions. At the same time, however, they also required endurance to maintain energy for continuous running. In this case, one could not have it in both ways.
Dai Li helped Yue Zhao back to the dorm gate, then said, "Take a shower and go to bed as soon as possible! Tomorrow we need to keep training."
"Hey Dai Li, it's late at night. Are you only just coming back?" a voice suddenly rang in the hallway.
Dai Li twisted his head to look in the direction of the voice. The speaker was a Coach named Liu. He was about to be in his fifties, and had seniority on the national team.
"Hi Coach Liu. I was practicing with Yue Zhao, I just forgot to check time," Dai Li smiled.
"Young men are energetic!" Coach Liu pointed upstairs, then said, "They are playing Mahjong upstairs, they have three players looking for one more. I will join them. See you later." Coach Liu then walked upstairs. Dai Li headed to his dorm and began preparing for bed.
Coach Liu knocked on the door. Three people were already in their positions, and Mahjong tiles were already aligned in stacks, waiting for Coach Liu.
"Zhong, Li, and Wang are also here! This is my first time playing Mahjong with Wang!" Coach Liu greeted the other three.
The coach who was named "Wang" was Yaozu Wang. He was Xiong Chu's chief coach. Xiong Chu was the strongest competitor for the last spot for the 200m sprint.
"Hey Liu, come sit down! We have been waiting for you for a long time! Here, roll the dice; let's start a round!" one of the three called out to Coach Liu.
"I say, Liu, are you getting old? Why does it take you so long to move upstairs? The time you wasted was enough for me to win by my own draw. Ah, wait, I skip," another person said.
"Huh? Oh, I met Dai Li before I came here, so we had a short conversation. Young men are so energetic; they had additional training tonight, and were only just coming back. If I were him, I would be exhausted, and would barely be able to move," Coach Liu explained as he threw a Red Dragon.
"Additional training?" Yaozu Wang was sitting on Coach Liu's right. Hearing about his news, his heart skipped a beat. He drew a tile, noticed it was a White Dragon, then discarded it at once. But the next second, he realized that he had made a mistake!
Shit, I shouldn't draw. I have two Red Dragons here, I should Pong! Yaozu Wang was upset. If Coach Liu had not mentioned Dai Li's additional training, he would not have acted so absent-mindedly.
Seeing the opponent to his right had discarded the tile, Coach Liu shouted, "Pong!"
Coach Liu joyfully matched a tile with a triplet, then slowly stroked his "wall" and said, "Right, additional training! Yue Zhao was working so hard, I saw he had collapsed. He had to be carried back by Dai Li!"
As he spoke, he threw a Three Bamboo tile.
"Pong!" the man seated on Coach Liu's left shouted, grasping the Three Bamboo in front of him. He said, "The last spot for the 200m sprint is still undetermined; plus, with that 20.75-second qualifying standard, Yue Zhao will definitely spend every day fighting for it! But speaking of this, I sympathize with Yue Zhao; he was misdiagnosed with bone cancer, and almost lost his leg. It must be a difficult thing for him to come back."
Hearing these words, Yaozu Wang was unhappy. He was Xiong Chu's coach, Yue Zhao's opponent, but this coach beside him obviously supported Yue Zhao. Now, Yue Zhao was fighting for the last spot, which had apparently given Yaozu Wang a sense of urgency.
Yue Zhao is receiving extra training. If Xiong Chu doesn't do the same thing, he will fall behind! I will never allow that to happen. Tomorrow I will give Xiong Chu extra training, too!
Thinking about this, Yaozu Wang was not focused on the game. He played Mahjong absent-mindedly, and began shooting tiles off carelessly.
It was half past seven in the morning. Yaozu Wang was humming a tune as he walked towards the canteen.
What do we have for breakfast? I want to have some bean curd, if there is any. If not, maybe I will have some soybean milk instead.
Yaozu Wang walked into the canteen and saw that his student, Xiong Chu, was already sitting at a table, focused on peeling a boiled egg.
I need to inform Xiong Chu that we will have additional practice this afternoon! Yaozu Wang quickly picked up his breakfast, then walked to Xiong Chu's table and sat down. At the same time, a voice suddenly rang.
"Yue Zhao, you are sweating all over. Did you have morning practice? Why don't you go and wash your face first!"
Yaozu Wang turned to face where the voice had come from. Yue Zhao was right there. He seemed hot, as sweat dripped from his jaw. His hair were already wet. Obviously, he had just received high-intensity training.
Yue Zhao smiled embarrassingly. "I got up at five. I just finished my morning exercise and put on a clean suit. I need to keep practicing soon."
"Five o'clock! That's earlier than daybreak!" someone gasped surprisingly.
Yaozu Wang subconsciously checked the time on his watch, alarmed.
He started at five o'clock, which means he has been training for two and a half hours. In other words, Yue Zhao has received two and a half more hours of additional training than Xiong Chu!
At that moment, the sense of urgency became stronger and stronger in Yaozu Wang's heart.
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