Michael Johnson In China Again

NANJING, China, Oct 21 - Five-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson is at China’s National Games scouting for talent to take back to his training camp in the United States and prepare for the Beijing Olympics.
The legendary 200 and 400m star is on the lookout for a squad of elite Chinese athletes to train at Baylor University as part of a deal with the China Athletics Association.
I was invited to coach clinics in Beijing last summer. So from that point we established a relationship with CAA (China Athletics Association),'' he told the Xinhua news agency. Now, I’m looking forward to bring a larger squad of Chinese athletes to train with us in the United States next year.’’
Johnson became the first foreign track coach hired by China when he gave talks and guidance to China’s Athens-bound Olympics team in a program sponsored by sportwear maker Nike.
China acknowledges there is a huge gap between the country’s top level athletes and the world’s best, and with the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 it wants at least to be on a more competitive footing.
In January, it sent 100m specialist Zhou Jiamin, 200m sprinter Yang Yaozu and 400m runners Hu Chengjiang and Jiang Bo to Johnson’s Ultimate Performance Training Camp.
I don't find any difference between the Chinese athletes and the US athletes,'' said Clyde Hart, a Baylor coach and Johnson's mentor. They are hard working and talented. However, the improvement can’t be done overnight but is a long process. The 2008 Olympics should not be a finishing point but a starting point for the Chinese athletes.’’
Between 10 and 12 Chinese athletes are expected to attend Johnson’s camp next year, he said.
The National Games is a four-yearly multi-sport event, often referred to as the country’s own ``mini Olympic Games.’’