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One minute ago, Baogang Liu had been planning to celebrate his victory; once he looked at the calculator on his phone, however, he lost all of his confidence.
Although Baogang Liu was a little slow calculating, he did finish the calculation; his team's score was only nine points higher than that of the police team. In other words, it was a nine rank difference.
In a marathon race, a difference of nine ranks was no big deal at all. Especially after the 40th or 50th place finisher, there could be more than ten athletes rushing to the finish line together. The rankings among a group of athletes could easily change, and did so often.
I'm not going to lose it today, am I? Baogang Liu thought, no longer sure of himself.
There are no undefeated generals in the stadium, and it was normal for a coach to lose a match. But Baogang Liu really did not want to lose today. Both Baogang Liu and Dai Li were coaches on the national team, but Baogang Liu was a marathon coach. If he was defeated by a sprinting coach, he would be quite shamed.
It all depends on the fifth score. Hurry up! Baogang Liu silently prayed.
On the track, there were always other runners appearing on the horizon. At first they were black silhouettes in the distance, then gradually the color of their sportswear would become clear. Each time a new silhouette appeared, Baogang Liu and Dai Li would anxiously look at it. When they clearly saw that the athlete was not from their team nor their opponent's, they each deeply sighed in both relief and regret.
In a blink of the eye, more than 60 runners had finished the game. There were more and more contestants on the track and the distances between the runners were getting closer and closer together, which became overwhelming.
Counted as the 69th, the fifth contestant of Dai Li's police team finally come.
Here he is! My contestant has gotten here first! With 69th place, we will get another 432 points. Dai Li quickly calculated the results.
If there is no contestant from the Dingtian Group's team among the next nine runners passing the finish line, then the team championship is ours! Dai Li thought, secretly glancing at Baogang Liu, who was not far away.
Baogang Liu had very mixed feelings. Not too long ago, the fourth contestant of the Dingtian Group's team had arrived first, and Baogang Liu had even felt victory already in his grasp. However, he was unexpectedly waiting for a fifth runner from his team, and in this time three runners from the police team had finished the race.
There is still a chance. I'll still win as long as one of the next nine runners is from my team. As long as he gets a ranking above 78th place, we will still win the champion.
Baogang Liu was trying to cheer himself up. Thinking of this, Baogang Liu looked up into the distance. He saw another blue tracksuit.
Is this one from the police team again? They have six runners who have finished the race now?
Baogang Liu felt worried immediately. Although the score of the sixth contestant would not be counted in the group results, he had a very bad feeling.
71st place was again taken by the police team.
75th and 78th place were also from the police team.
It's over! I have lost. Baogang Liu already knew that the Dingtian Group had lost the group championship!
The fifth contestant finishing the race from the Dingtian Group placed 85th, which led them to score five less points than the police team. This gap was not much in terms of points, but Baogang Liu knew he had been completely defeated.
Among the finishers from 69th place to 85th place, six were members of the police team. In comparison, most contestants from the Dingtian Group team finished between 85th place and 100th place.
Baogang Liu knew that this was where the gap lied. When only the scores of the top five of each team's participants were counted, the Dingtian Group seemed to be no weaker than the police team. The other runners from the Dingtian Group after the top five, however, were obviously weaker than the police team.
We were basically tied at the 17.5-kilometer supply zone. The gap had to have happened during the final three-kilometer sprint. Baogang Liu immediately figured out how this had happened.
Losing the match was not so terrible when you knew the reason why you had lost. The national team coaches were very good at learning lessons from their failures. Baogang Liu immediately found the reason for his failure.
I thought Dai Li was only a sprinting coach. It never occurred to me that he knew how to train marathon runners too. He had been playing innocent to trick his opponent! Baogang Liu cursed under his breath, then helplessly shook his head. This kid was so skillful; no wonder Coach Xue Li values him so much!
On the other side, Dai Li had also silently evaluated the effects of the endurance halo.
Although I have won, it was so close that I could have lost if it had not been for the endurance halo. I thought I would win easily, but in the end we only won by a small margin. The effect of the endurance halo for this super long race didn't seem to be as strong as I imagined.
The tactical arrangements made before the race and the on-field commanding were also my weak points. Before the match, I scanned all the contestants for their ability and they were very close; I barely won even with the endurance halo. This means I still have much more to learn from Coach Liu about the tactical arrangements and on-field commanding.
As for leading a team, Dai Li thought he had much less experience than Baogang Liu. The tactical arrangements Baogang Liu had made before the race were certainly better than Dai Li's, and the tactical instructions during the match he had given were certainly more reasonable than Dai Li's.
I'm in the intermediate phase of a top-level coach. With this advantage, I am one of the best on the national team in terms of training effects. In other aspects, however, I still have a lot of weaknesses, especially in leading a team during the match.
In the few projects I have done, whether it was the shot put, long jump, or sprinting, basically no tactics were required. I have not paid any attention to this. Now it seems that I have a lot of things to learn. As a coach, I can't just train! Leading the team in competitions is what I will have to do, and this is something I will have to continue getting better at.
Through a half marathon race, Dai Li had found his shortcomings, which could not be learned from the coaching system.
The coaching system could make his training effect multiply, could enhance his athletes' performance in certain aspects, and could even help the athletes recover from injuries; but it could not give Dai Li coaching experience, and was not able to help Dai Li master on-field commanding techniques.
Dai Li had considered himself very strong in the intermediate phase of a top-level coach. But now, Dai Li suddenly found that he was only a little better than a newbie.
Dai Li lowered his head as he summed up his shortcomings, so he didn't notice that Yunan Xiao was checking him out from not too far away.
The young coach of the national team was quite interesting! Baogang Liu said earlier that he was a sprinting coach, but he managed to beat a professional marathon coach in a marathon. Yunan Xiao felt that Dai Li was now even more mysterious than he had been before.
"Director Xiao, we have lost the competition. Will we continue to follow the publicity plan?" someone asked.
"Switch to plan B!" Yunan Xiao helplessly said.
For a project where more than one billion yuan had been spent to buy the land, there would surely always be a publicity plan B. The Dingtian Group had prepared several sets of alternative plans, though they were not as good as plan A.
What was more important was the fact that this was the first project Yunan Xiao had managed since she had returned to China. This setback at the beginning of her campaign had really made her upset.
She stared at Dai Li from far away, who was on her mind to blame for her defeat. She muttered, "Our plan took the planning department so long to prepare. But you screwed it up! You owe me."
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