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Li Xiaopeng expected to replace Li Tie as China head coach******
BEIJING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Li Xiaopeng has been tipped to take over the Chinese men's football team as a replacement for Li Tie who is facing a media backlash.。
Xiaopeng, the current head coach of Chinese Super League club Wuhan FC, is good at communicating and could be better equipped to deal with the media, according to a report from Soccer News.。
"If without further twists, the change of the national team's head coach will come within days. Li Xiaopeng, in all probability, will succeed Li Tie," reported the Guangzhou-based newspaper.。
Li Tie stays silent since he hit back at his critics at the post-game press conference of the FIFA World Cup qualifier between China and Australia, which ended 1-1 on November 16.。
His future at the Chinese team has been questioned by Chinese media after he was found to erase the logo of his side's sponsor in the pictures he posted on his social media account.。
He was also accused of using his capacity as China's head coach to plug several products on his social media account.。
Li Tie has offered an oral apology to the Chinese Football Association president Chen Xuyuan for embroiling the Chinese side in controversies, a Beijing Youth Daily report said.。
The Chinese side will complete the two-week mandatory quarantine on Thursday.。
China, with only five points from six games in their World Cup qualification campaign, will face Japan in their next game on January 27, 2022 as well as an arduous task of clawing their way back. Enditem。
Ukrainian, Russian delegations arrive for talks******
The Ukrainian and Russian delegations arrived at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border for talks on Monday.
Key issues of the talks would be an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, the Ukrainian President's Office said Monday on its Telegram page.
The Ukrainian delegation includes David Arakhamia, head of the Party of Servant of the People; Oleksiy Reznikov, minister of defense and Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the Head of the President's Office, the office said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday that a delegation including representatives of the foreign ministry, the defense ministry and other government agencies has arrived in Belarus.
After a seesaw struggle between the two sides, a ray of hope emerged as Russia and Ukraine agreed to meet for talks.
Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine on February 24.
Chinese Kung Fu gains popularity in Africa******
Chinese martial arts, or Kung Fu, conjures up an image of the iconic movie star Bruce Lee, whose superb fighting skills were popularized throughout the world.。
Over the years, Africa has witnessed the making of several Bruce Lee-wannabes with wushu, the Mandarin-language term for martial arts, which have become popular across the continent.。
Students of the martial arts believe that Chinese Kung Fu promotes healthy living.。
"Practicing Chinese Kung Fu, not only builds discipline and respect, it makes you feel healthy and fit," said Emile Rukundo, vice president of the Rwandan Chinwoo Wushu Kung Fu Academy.。
The academy started in 2017 and has been receiving Kung Fu teachers from China. About 50 people, including young people, are trained in Kung Fu at the school.。
"Kung Fu has become a popular sport in Rwanda, particularly among school-age children. They find it interesting because it keeps their body in shape, and it teaches them self-defense and self-control," said Rukundo.。
According to Rukundo, the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda and the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda have supported the academy through organizing Kung Fu competitions, which have motivated young Rwandans to learn Kung Fu.。
"Chinese martial arts teach an excellent way of life," said Dawit Terefe, an Ethiopian Chinese martial arts instructor, adding that the sport helps people become strong, healthy, stay in good shape and develop excellent concentration.。
Terefe added that Chinese martial arts are lifetime physical exercises and are performed with balanced movements between the legs and hands, making them preferable to other exercises.。
"The promotion of the Chinese martial arts feature prominently in the 2021 government's sports development strategy," said John Mapepele, a senior communications officer with the Tanzanian Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports.。
According to Mapepele, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed the ministry to ensure that Chinese martial arts is incorporated in the country's sports and culture development plans.。
"The government of Tanzania is giving much support to Chinese martial arts which are attracting tens of thousands of Tanzanians, especially the youth," Mapepele told Xinhua at the inaugural Tanzania women sports festival dubbed Tanzanite in September, where Kung Fu was featured by young Tanzanian girls aged 10 to 14 years old.。
"Tens of hundreds of visitors come here to watch the girls showing their prowess in Kung Fu," said Athuman Begeja, a 31-year-old Kung Fu teacher at Begeja Wushu Club located in Ilala District in Dar es Salaam.。
Begeja said during the three-day festival his club received over 100 inquiries from girls who want to join and train in Kung Fu.。
Kung Fu goes viral。
The Kung Fu frenzy is sweeping the continent thanks to the friendly relations between China and Africa, cemented through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative, among others.。
Humphrey Moshi, a professor of economics at state-run University of Dar es Salaam and Director of the Center for Chinese Studies in Tanzania, told Xinhua in a recent interview that the relationship between China and Africa has become stronger since the establishment of the forum.。
"We have seen tangible improvement in sectors ranging from agriculture and communications, construction, manufacturing, culture, sports and games, and people to people exchanges," said Moshi.。
The number of Kung Fu clubs in Rwanda organized under the Rwanda Kung-fu Wushu Federation has been growing in recent years, and the total stands at 31 this year, with over 2,000 registered members.。
Also, according to a recent report by the Ethiopian Martial Arts Federation, there are over 800 martial arts training centers across Ethiopia, Africa's second-most populous nation.。
Among them, 60 are found in Addis Ababa and each appears to offer martial arts training for about 70 students each season, and a Wushu club exists in every small town in Ethiopia, the report indicated.。
The Chinese martial arts are winning the hearts and souls of the Ethiopian youth, Terefe said.。
Interview: Australian athletes cherish the opportunity at Beijing 2022, says Chef de Mission******
CANBERRA, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Australian athletes cherish the opportunity to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, said Geoff Lipshut, Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympic Team.。
"Our athletes... traveled last season in very difficult circumstances around the world during COVID without vaccine then, so they had to be very health conscious. But all of them took it very seriously because they wanted to qualify to go to Beijing," said the former aerial skiing coach who had been to seven Olympics since Lillehammer in 1994.。
"I think going to Beijing and having that opportunity is the most important thing for each of the athletes," he told Xinhua in an interview.。
Lipshut also dismissed the call for a boycott of the Olympics by some western politicians.。
"Many athletes will have (only) one opportunity to go to the Olympic Games," he said.。
"We are going to do sports. That's what they've trained for 10, 15, 20 years. Their families and friends have sacrificed a lot to give these athletes an opportunity."
According to Lipshut, there is a "two-winter" scheme to help Australian athletes prepare for the Winter Olympics. "We have the southern winter here, and we have the northern winter overseas," he said.。
As a result, some Australian athletes are now training overseas in Europe and North America, while some had a chance to compete at the Beijing 2022 test events, including those for the luge, short track speed skating and sliding events.。
Bobsleigh pilot Bree Walker described the Olympic sliding track in Beijing as "amazing." "She said it's a fantastic sliding track. It has got a heated warm-up area. They've never seen a heated warm-up area before, so that's the first," said Lipshut, adding that the athletes enjoyed the experience there.。
Lipshut himself visited China before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 when the venues and infrastructure were still under construction. He also toured the Olympic village, where he said facilities were convenient, as well as the National Aquatics Center, which hosted the aquatics competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics and has been transformed into a curling venue.。
"It's a very famous pool here, because one of our athletes, Stephanie Rice, won three gold medals in this pool," he said. "So to see that as a curling venue will be amazing."
Lipshut expected to see the Winter Olympics leave a healthy legacy as well, with the venues being well used afterward for Chinese sports and youth.。
Australia has won 15 medals at Winter Olympic Games: five gold, five silver and five bronze, starting with a bronze in Lillehammer in 1994. In Pyeongchang, Australia grabbed two silver and a bronze medal.。
Lipshut said he believed that the "safe range" for the team would be between two and three medals, which will possibly come from freestyle and snowboard events.。
"One thing that's a bit challenging for us is that some of our athletes and coaches haven't been to the test events," he said.。
"And we haven't been to China as many times. We look forward to going there and, as long as we have a good opportunity, to training beforehand on the venue."
Yet there is something good for the TV audience. The time difference between and China and Australia is within three hours.。
"It's a nice contrast between China in winter and Australia in summer," said Lipshut. "That will be interesting also." Enditem。