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Pursuing Gold: China’s young athletes in training

These 18 amazing images have just been released by a Chinese photo agency.

THE CONTRASTING REACTIONS of Olympic divers Qui Bo and Tom Daley after their silver- and bronze-medal performances in London 2012 highlighted China’s absolute ambition.

Gold or nothing.

And to achieve that aim, the country continues to run a number of amateur sports schools, which were set up in the 1950s to develop the nation’s sporting talents.

China Foto Press has recently released some images – taken over the past 18 months – to give an insight into the government-funded centres. In pursuit of international glory, talented children (as young as four years old) are rooted out and put in intensive classes.

A kid takes part in a boxing training session at Fuzhou Sports School on 10 August 2012 in Fuzhou, Fujian Province of China. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

23 December 2012: A child takes part in a table tennis training session at Fuzhou Sports School. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

China has produced some of the best divers the world has ever seen in recent years. Is there another in training at Fuzhou Sports School? Image taken on 31 October last year. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

Christmas Eve training at the table tennis hall at Fuzhou Sports School. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

Even disciplines that would be considered ‘adult’ sports are including in the schools’ programmes. In this 18 July 2011 photo, a boy takes part in a weightlifting session. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

14 November 2012: A shooting session in Putian Sports School. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

Swimming in Fuzhou on 1 November 2012. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

A kid takes part in a judo training session at Fuzhou Sports School on 24 October 2012 in Fuzhou. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

It is not just mainstream international games taught – martial arts training is also provided at Fuzhou Sports School. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

A kid takes part in a gymnastics training session at Fuzhou Sports School on 7 July 2011. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

A young boy takes part in a gymnastics training session at Putian Sports School on 14 November 2012. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

A young girl takes part in a trampoline training session at Fuzhou Sports School in the Fujian Province on 4 July 2011. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

A tennis training session at Fuzhou Sports School on 28 December 2012. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

More minority sports: Fencing on 10 August 2012 in Fuzhou. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

A kid takes part in a hurdle race training session at Fuzhou Sports School on 28 December last year. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

A kid takes part in an archery training session at Fuzhou Sports School on 3 November 2012. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

Sweat drips from the face of a kid at Fuzhou Sports School on 6 July 2011. (Photo by Liu Tao/ChinaFotoPress)

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