BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Former sprinter Zhang Peimeng announced here on Wednesday that he will join China's national skeleton team, hoping to secure a ticket to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
The 30-year-old Zhang accepted the invitation from Gou Zhongwen, director of China's General Administration of Sport, who welcomed Zhang's participation in winter sports.
"Joining the national team is the first step for me, and the road in future will be tough for sure," Zhang said at a press conference.
Zhang, the first Chinese who was able to touch the 10-second barrier in the men's 100 meters, bid farewell to the track with a gold medal in the 4x100m relay together with his national teammates Su Bingtian, Xie Zhenye and Wu Zhiqiang at the National Games last September.
"I really enjoyed competing on the track, and I was reluctant to retire," said Zhang, "fortunately the skeleton was a good chance for me, and I hope to focus more on the skeleton."
Zhang was at the skeleton training site in PyeongChang last December and found it quite interesting.
"I had some deep communication with high-level coaches and athletes to discuss the future development if I turn to skeleton. They all suggested I should take advantage of my speed and give it a shot," Zhang added.
The Chinese skeleton team was formed in 2015 and took part in the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation World Cup for the first time in November 2017. China's most successful slider Geng Wenqiang has secured one spot in the men's skeleton team heading to the PyeongChang Winter Games.