SAPPORO, Japan, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) - China will take the Asian Winter Games as an opportunity to learn from neighbors and at the same time pursue the best possible results, said Gao Zhidan, chef de mission of the Chinese delegation on Saturday after the country's athletes held a flag-raising ceremony.
"Our winter sports have been given a fresh start since we won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games," said Gao. "We should learn from the experience of our neighbors at the Asiad."
"Japan and South Korea both have hosted Asian Games before, and South Korea will host Winter Olympic Games in 2018. They are much stronger than us in winter sports, and Kazakhstan also has some advantage in snow sports," Gao said.
"Winter sports in China started late and are still very weak, especially the snow sports," Gao said. "So we are here to learn. But at the same time we should seek good results."
China sent a 236-member delegation for the Games, which run from Feb. 19-26.
China will compete in all events at the Games, which have attracted some 2,300 athletes from 31 countries and regions.
Chinese short track speed skaters, who captured six gold medals at the last two Winter Olympics, are believed to be strong medal contenders in Japan.
World champion Fan Kexin, a gold hopeful in the women's 500m, says she has high expectations of herself.
"I want a better finish than last time," said Fan after the ceremony, who took a 500m silver and a relay gold at the last Asiad.
Wu Dajing, men's 500m winner at the 2016 World Cup Shanghai, aims to win the event and also expects a relay gold.
"It is my first Asiad and I hope I can win the 500m title as well as the men's relay," he said. "It is also my first time coming to Sapporo, and the snow is so beautiful."
According to Gao, a men's short track speed skater will carry the Chinese flag at Sunday's opening ceremony but he didn't give a name.
Li Yan, head coach of the short track team, told Xinhua that China faces a challenge from old rival South Korea and an improving Japan and Kazakhstan. South Korea took two short track golds at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.