Chinese Olympic champion trains in Bath

28 January 2010

Liu Zige, one of the world’s top swimmers and China’s only swimming gold medallist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has spent two weeks training at British Swimming’s Intensive Training Centre at the University of Bath.

Liu set a world record to strike gold in the 200m butterfly at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games, making her one of China’s stars of the Games. She went on to take silver in the same discipline at last year’s World Championships in Rome.

The link-up with Bath came about through David Lyles, former University of Bath head swimming coach, who now coaches in Shanghai, where Liu is based.

Liu spent two weeks training with Dave McNulty, head coach of the British Swimming Intensive Training Centre at the University of Bath.

Jin Wei, Liu’s coach, said: “Liu Zige wants to win more gold medals.

There are no big competitions in the first six months of the year, so we wanted to try some different training.

“With the next Olympic Games in London, we wanted to come to England,” he added. “We really liked it in Bath.”

Liu said she is aiming to retain her title at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and added that she enjoyed her training stint in Bath. “We have had a very good time in Bath,” she said.

Dave McNulty said it was great to have Liu Zige training alongside his swimmers.

She has won an Olympic gold and set world records. It’s been a great opportunity for our swimmers and Liu Zige to train together,” he said. “We made her very welcome.

“We’ve swapped ideas and they’ve really enjoyed being here,” he added. “She’s joined in with all our training, including land, gym and pool, and fitted in really well.”

Liu Zige gave Dave a presentation set of stamps bearing her photo as a thank-you for hosting her training trip in Bath

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The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.

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