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When Dai Li arrived, Haiquan Fang was already lying in the open space beside the playing area. Haiquan Fang had taken off his shoes. The team doctor was sitting beside him, examining his foot.
"How bad is it?" Li Xue asked eagerly.
The team doctor looked up and said, "The preliminary examination didn't find any broken bones, and the joint is also OK; but there's a muscle strain for sure. As for the ligament, I am not sure; it doesn't seem to be very serious like a laceration, so I would guess it's a ligament strain at most. I suggest he have an MRI inspection immediately. If his ligament is OK and he only has a muscle strain, he should avoid strenuous exercise for 2-3 days, and then he will have recovered."
After hearing Haiquan Fang's bone and joint were OK, Li Xue was a bit relieved. Beside Li Xue, the head coach responsible for the long jump asked, "Should we send Haiquan Fang to hospital now?"
"Do you really have to ask? What are you waiting for? Send him to hospital immediately!" Li Xue said snappily.
The head coach of the long jump team had been Li Xue's subordinate for over ten years. He had been promoted by Li Xue as the head coach of long jump team. Because of this, Li Xue didn't need to speak to him with courtesy.
"But Haiquan Fang doesn't want to go to hospital; he wants to return to the match!" the coach of long jump team said.
"Can he return to the match in this condition?" Li Xue shouted angrily. His tone, along with his grisly-looking, made him really look like a monster.
"The current situation is quite promising, so Haiquan Fang doesn't want to give up." The long jump coach paused, then continued, "To be honest, I also don't want to give up. It would really be a pity to give up now."
"What's your point?" Li Xue asked.
"During the first trial jump, Haiquan Fang's result was 7.87 meters, which ranked 1st among all athletes. This result could ensure that Haiquan Fang enters the top 8." As the long jump coach was speaking, he looked at the distant scoreboard. He continued, "During the second trial jump, there was still no one who could surpass Haiquan Fang. The third trial jump is happening right now, and Haiquan Fang is still in first place."
Frowning, Li Xue was absorbed in thought.
Although 7.87 meters could not win the championship in the Asian Games, it was still a satisfactory guarantee result. An athlete who could achieve such a result on their first trial jump could choose a more risky technique in the next 5 trial jumps to strive for a score over eight meters. A score over eight meters could ensure a medal in the long jump event of the Asian Games.
"It's time for Haiquan Fang's third trial jump!" a game official said.
"We forfeit the third trial jump," the long jump coach said without hesitation. Then he looked at Li Xue. It was quite obvious that the coach was waiting for Li Xue's final decision.
"Just send Haiquan Fang to hospital!" finally Li Xue said.
"No, I want to continue," Haiquan Fang suddenly said loudly.
Li Xue went and tried to persuade Haiquan Fang. "Haiquan Fang, I remember that two months from now you will be eighteen, right? You are so young; you still have a lot of opportunities in the future. At your age, it should be no problem for you to attend the next two, or even three Asian Games."
"Moreover, you are very gifted, so you are bound to take part in the international matches. The IAAF Diamond League, the Track & Field World Cup, the World Athletics Championships, and the Olympics Games are your stage. This is only the Asian Games; you don't need to push yourself so hard."
A flash of hesitation appeared in the eyes of Haiquan Fang, but he still shook his head.
"Coach Xue, I want to continue. This is my game; I should hold on. So many people are watching me. I believe I can jump!" Haiquan Fang said resolutely.
"Haiquan, even though we are the host city this time around, you don't need to take on any psychological burden. You quit the game because of injury; we understand that, and the audience will also understand. Furthermore, today you give up temporarily just in order to accomplish better things in the future!" Li Xue continued trying to persuade Haiquan Fang.
"But I want to win!"
Li Xue sighed helplessly. As a coach with decades of coaching experience, he could understand how Haiquan Fang was feeling. However, Li Xue still tried to persuade Haiquan Fang, saying, "You are injured right now. In your current state, even if you return to the match, you cannot obtain a satisfactory result. And if you get injured again in your current condition, it will be more troublesome. Your professional career could take a toll."
The third round of trial jump was about to end.
"As for the other two players of our team, Yi Li ranks 4th right now, and Jinrui Liu ranks 7th. Only one player hasn't had their third trial jump. This player is relatively weak; even if he gets a good score, Yi Li and Dawei Liu can also enter the top eight smoothly," the long jump coach whispered to Li Xue.
"Very good!" Li Xue nodded his head satisfactorily.
"What about me? Am I still No. 1?" Haiquan Fang asked.
The long jump coach hesitated for a moment, but said eventually, "Right now, your score of 7.87 meters still ranks 1st among all competitors."
"Coach Xue, I want to return to the match! Please!" With his hands on the ground, Haiquan Fang tried to stand up. His eyes were filled with the want to win.
A sorry expression could be seen on Li Xue's face. Haiquan Fang was in a quite favorable position now. The first 3 trial jumps had already been completed, yet Haiquan Fang still ranked 1st. According to the game rules, Haiquan Fang could perform the worst of all the athletes in the final three trial jumps and still win.
If no one gets a score better than 7.87 meters in the last three trial jumps, Haiquan Fang will win the championship!
The thought flashed Li Xue's mind; however, he knew it was impossible. After all, this was the Asian Games, which was filled with elite athletes from all across Asia, including the "immigrant legion" of countries in Western Asia. It was impossible for a score of 7.87 meters to win the championship.
"Coach, please give me one chance! Please! Just one jump!" Haiquan Fang continued to beg Li Xue for an opportunity.
At that moment, Dai Li finally said, "Coach, just give him a chance!"
"How could you mess with him?" Li Xue glanced at Dai Li questionably. "His injury could be serious. How could he return to the match?"
"Coach, I was Haiquan Fang's coach when he was on the youth team. I'm worried about his injury too," Dai Li said, "However, he is quite stubborn. He will never stop until he reaches his goal. So just let him have another jump."
"What about the injury in his leg? What should we do if his injury is aggravated?" Li Xue asked back.
Dai Li said immediately, "Let me give him a massage first to alleviate the pain. If his injury is not very serious, he should be able to finish one trial jump after the massage."
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