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Southeastern countries had almost the poorest athletic performances. Even in Asian-level competitions, athletes from those countries were in the background—they acted as co-stars, never getting the chance to win themselves.
However, in the upcoming 4×100m relay race, Thailand was one of the favorites to win the championship.
According to individual ability, Thailand was very ordinary. The whole country had at most, one Olympic B-level athlete, and even that guy was at the bottom of the B-level.
However, in the 4×100m relay race, Thailand was quite strong. The Thai sprinters were different from the other countries in that they specialized in relays and rarely participated in individual contests. Therefore, the team had great cooperation. Of course, even if they attended individual events, due to their abilities, they would not obtain good results.
Eight years ago, when Thailand was competing against Japan, led by The First Asian Flyer Sasaki Akita, the Thais won the championship with only 0.02 seconds on the Japanese. That fight was the shock of the Asian Games, and it also kicked Japanese Golden Generation off of its altar.
Four years ago, in the last Asian Games, Thailand won a silver, defeated by Qatar. However, in that competition, Qatar was the host team, plus its team member Clark had just broken the Asian record and was in great form, so it was reasonable for Thailand to lose the games.
But today, due to Clark and Aonaide's injury, Qatar had to give up the relay race. Without Qatar as their powerful enemy, Thailand had a higher possibility of winning a gold.
An hour before the race started, Thailand's chief coach, Bassoon, had the list naming all of the teams.
We have been preparing for four years, waiting to defeat Qatar, but who could have imagined that Qatar would give up.
But this isn't a bad thing. Without that strong foe, we have greater hopes to win. Bassoon looked through the list of names and smiled. Bassoon felt like punching the air.
As a team specializing in the 4×100m relay race, Thailand was quite familiar with the other national teams' conditions.
The Japanese team is in a low place after the Golden Generation retired. That gifted athlete Oda Shoki does have some ability, but Japan has to wait for another four years to totally rely on him. The current Japan team is a mixture of elder and junior athletes. They are facing a temporary shortage, similar to four years ago. There is no need to fear!
Saudi Arabia is worth paying attention to. Their team includes naturalized athletes from Africa, but only one is Moroccan, and the majority of the North Africans are white. If Saudi Arabia naturalized a black athlete like what Qatar did, things would be more challenging.
As for the host... Jun Xie has retired from the race, I heard that Zitao Wei is sick, I don't know whether he'll show up or not. Bassoon checked the name list, finally seeing Haiquan Fang's name.
A stranger, who is he? Is he an alternate? It seems like he's never shown up before. Bassoon was worried about any sudden changes, so he immediately brought the list to a familiar officer for inquiry.
Soon, he found some information.
So he's a long jumper! And he's the new long jump champion at this Asian Games! Bassoon became relaxed at once.
It looks like the host team is no longer a threat. I used to think that they had a 100m and 200m sprint champion, so they must be strong. It's a pity that the relay race is four people. When lacking a fourth runner, they found a long jump as a makeshift runner. They're now several levels lower than us simply by team ability.
Bassoon shook his head. He had gained more confidence.
Before long, the other coaches also heard that since the host team lacked a fourth runner, they had to find a long jumper to fill in.
Although Haiquan Fang was the champion of the Asian Games, with a speed faster than many professional sprinters, in the 4×100m, team cooperation played a vital role. It would be a big success if the temporary runner didn't make any mistakes, let alone expecting him to work well with the team.
In any competition, the host team was a team to fear, especially in group events, where the host had clear advantages. Some athletes with poor psychological qualities were afraid in the face of the local audience's cheering even before the games started.
Now that the host team had a subsitute, in the other teams' eyes, the national team had abandoned its chances of winning. Unknowingly, the national team had been kicked off the Potential Winner List.
At half past seven at night, the relay final was about to start.
Dai Li stood besides the track, looking at his students, feeling anxious.
"Li, it's time to inspect your training results." Li Xue patted Dai Li's shoulder and continued, "Don't worry, no stress, no consideration of winning or losing. You have me! Even if the result isn't satisfying, as your teacher, I'll shoulder the responsibility for you!"
Dai Li was touched. He looked at Li Xue and said, "Coach, I have confidence in them!"
Dai Li's confidence came from a Serial Cable, which could increase teamwork and close relationships to a great extent.
In the latter half of the training, when Dai Li had equipped himself with the Serial Cable, the effect was immediately seen. The relationship between teammates improved at once; even the last baton exchange between Yue Zhao and Haiquan Fang looked like they had been working together for weeks.
Li Xue's "inspection of training results" would be inspecting the Serial Cable's external effect.
Of course, after being equipped with the Serial Cable, the athletes affected each other either positively or negatively. But Dai Li didn't worry about that. The national team was the host, so they had a high morale. In the team, as Haiquan Fang, Sijie Yang and Yue Zhao had all won, they were in the most confident mood, which promoted their performance, no one was better than another. Therefore, the mutual influence would be positive.
The huge screen on the field displayed the live broadcast, which was focusing on Thailand. Apparently, the broadcaster knew that Thailand was the most favored team to win the race.
People showed sympathy to the weak. An underdog's victory was the most popular scene in novels. Eight years ago, when the weak Thailand outperformed Japan, the then strongest Asian team, and defeated the Japanese Golden Generation, the Thai had gained many fans. Now that Thailand had returned, they were definitely favored by many people.
The starting gun went off with a bang. The first leg, Guohong Niu, reacted quickly, and his speed was good, at least faster than the first Thai.
Guohong Niu was the only one on the national team who focused on relay races, hence his preparation was the best. It was reasonable to see him perform well. Among all the first runners, he was the first to arrive at the exchange area.
On the side of the field, Thailand's chief coach Bassoon curled his lip with disdain.
Fast speed is nothing; in the relay race, the key point is the baton exchange. If you are 0.1 second slower than us when passing the baton, your efforts are in vain!
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