Stay informed of NEWEST chapters of Almighty Coach with notification directly sent to your email.
The second baton exchange went smoothly, Sijie Yang and Yue Zhao's cooperation greatly exceeding Li Xue's expectations.
According to Li Xue's original plan, this exchange would count as a success as long as the two runners didn't make any mistakes. Even if they wasted a little time, it was acceptable.
However, this exchange didn't waste any time at all. Instead, Sijie Yang and Yue Zhao performed even better than they did during daily training. While feeling happy for them, Li Xue was quite confused.
Is this a coincidence? Or good luck helping them to perform well? Li Xue wondered, shaking his head in silence.
As an experienced coach, Li Xue never believed in luck or coincidence. To high-level athletes, even with coincidence and luck, results must be based on hard work. Without true abilities, coincidence or luck wouldn't work at all.
Perhaps Li's 'practice just before the race' method worked? Such thoughts flashed across Li Xue's mind, causing him to involuntarily glance at Dai Li again.
At the same time, Thailand's relay team chief coach Bassoon looked more serious.
Thailand's second baton exchange was completed perfectly. Simply from smoothness and teamwork standpoints, Thailand was better than the national team. However, on the time front, although Thai's speed was a little bit faster, they were far from fast enough to make up the time they were behind.
Thailand's individual abilities were low, so they depended on their cooperation. In Bassoon's original plan, when on the track, each Thai runner might be 0.1 to 0.2 seconds slower than the other teams, but with better cooperation, every exchange could gain 0.2 to 0.3 second back for them. As Bassoon counted, once they gained more than an 0.8 second advantage through the three exchanges, then they would surely be the champions.
Such a plan had worked in actual races. Thailand's defeat of Japan eight years ago was the best example.
At present, Bassoon's plan was only half succeeding. Compared to Japan and Saudi Arabia, Thailand had gained an advantage through good cooperation, but in front of the national team, Thailand couldn't fill the gap, seemingly widening it instead.
How come their second exchange went so well! Bassoon curled his lip. Due to the fact that Sijie Yang was way faster than the second Thai runner, Thailand hadn't gained much of a lead during the exchange process, causing Thailand to clearly fall behind.
The third runner for the host team is that 200m champion. Our runner will probably fall even more behind. Thinking about this, anxiety appeared on Bassoon's face for the first time.
By the last exchange, we'll be lagging behind much more than this. If we want to turn the tide, we have to rely on the last exchange.
Bassoon looked at the last Thai runner, who was standing in the last exchange zone waiting for his teammate nervously.
This athlete, named Mochai, was the strongest athlete on the Thailand team, and was the only one in the team who could reach the Olympics B-level standard.
Mochai was ethnically one quarter American. His grandfather was an American soldier who had left a relationship in Thailand to return to America. Perhaps even the soldier himself couldn't recall that he had offspring in Thailand.
In Thailand, there were many of Thai-American parentage like Mochai. Compared to native Thais, those of mixed-blood were taller and well-built, with more outstanding athletic abilities.
Mochai is our best athlete. Even when facing Asian top-level runners, he is able to compete with them. The fourth host team athlete is a long jumper, so although he won a championship, in a sprint event he is probably not as competitive as Mochai! As long as we make up the gap in the last exchange, the championship still belongs to us! Bassoon considered, looking at the exchanging zone with high expectations, waiting for the final exchange.
Yue Zhao had a wonderful curve technique, and the third runner performed mostly on the curve. He was indeed the best choice for the third leg.
The national team's "Asian Games Champion" lineup had worked out successfully. No matter if Sijie Yang was the second runner, or Yue Zhao was the third, they were all Asian Games champions, who took advantage in their reputation. The other second and third runners were all weaker than these two, therefore, by capitalizing on this, the national team had widened the gap to maintain their lead.
However, both the national team coaches and the other international coaches were all aware of the cruel truth that, before the teams reached the finish line, the result remained unsure. This wasn't even considering the most vital part—the last baton exchange wasn't completed yet!
On the track, Yue Zhao was approaching the exchange zone, while Haiquan Fang, the last runner, began to run.
Li Xue focused on the track, praying in his heart: As long as you guys can pass the baton smoothly, a slow exchange is fine. Please, please do not drop the baton! Make it steady, steady! It's okay to slow down, wait, why are you running so fast!
On the track, Haiquan Fang increased his speed rapidly, causing quite a shock to Li Xue, whose head was now soaked with cold sweat.
During the exchange process, the slower the athletes ran, the easier they could exchange the baton, if they both paused to pass the baton, there would be no mistake at all. However, on the other hand, the slower they ran, the more time they would waste.
Conversely, the faster athletes ran, the less time it would take, but the probability of error increased. Theoretically speaking, the ideal baton exchange happened at the time when the receiver's speed reached the top.
Practically, such an ideal exchange had never happened. Not taking into account the teamwork between the giver and receiver, the exchanging zone was only 20 meters long, impossible for an athlete to immediately increase their speed to a full sprint within such a short distance.
To stand-ins like Haiquan Fang, who lacked training and practical experience in relays, to guarantee a good performance, it was definitely better for him to pursue steadiness. Slowing down or having some tiny flaws, or even mistakes, those were all acceptable, but never any fatal errors.
However, Haiquan Fang's current run-up speed was obviously not aiming for steadiness—every coach present could tell that he was trying for higher speed!
What the heck are you playing at?! Shouldn't you perform steadily instead! You shouldn't be pursuing a higher speed, you're asking for trouble! Li Xue knew, as an athlete, that Haiquan Fang himself would never have made such decision, so it must have been Dai Li's plan.
Li Xue stared at Dai Li with annoyance. He had never expected Dai Li to adopt such radical tactics at the final crucial step.
Surprisingly, Dai Li still looked relaxed, seemingly satisfied with his tactics.
"Huh?" When Bassoon saw Haiquan Fang's run up, he was confused at first, then he smiled.
Bassoon also held the view that since the fourth runner was a substitute, the national team would choose to make a steady exchange. They would rather sacrifice a few fractions of a second to guarantee a safe last exchange.
Therefore, at the time he saw Haiquan Fang's radical acceleration, he was puzzled.
He immediately realized that such radical acceleration meant a higher probability of error to an inexperienced relay runner. Such a tactic was like gambling with a pretty low winning rate.
You will fail, you must fail, you will probably drop the baton! Haha, you've taken the lead all the way until here, but if you drop the baton at the last step, your previous efforts would all be in vain, wouldn't it be painful!
Bassoon had a big smile on his face, waiting to witness the delightful moment of the national team's misfortune.
At the same time, Yue Zhao and Haiquan Fang started their last baton exchange.
Enter your email address that you used to register. We'll send you an email with detailed steps to reset your password.
Already a member? Log In