Shanghai: Legendary Chinese trampoline Dong Dong will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, state media said Wednesday, setting a fourth record at the Games. The twelve-time former world champion will be the first male trampoline to take part in four Olympic Games and will be desperate to reach a climax – he said he would retire after Tokyo. The 32-year-old, who has won a medal at the last three Olympics, will take part in the men’s individual event. Dong qualified second place for the Chinese team behind world champion Gao Lei in 2019, the Xinhua news agency said, citing a notice from China’s gymnastics authorities.
“My goal for Tokyo is to always win the gold medal,” Dong told AFP in 2018 before the coronavirus pandemic postponed the 2020 Games to this July-August. Dong hopes his age could be a benefit. “My mentality is my advantage over younger trampolines. I know better how to harness the nervousness. I make fewer mistakes,” he said in 2018. Dong reached the podium in all three of his previous Olympic appearances: bronze at the age of 19 in Beijing in 2008, gold in London four years later and silver in Rio in 2016. Dong was the oldest participant in the individual men’s final in Rio, where he missed out on the first rugby winner when Uladzislau Hancharou of Belarus beat him to the title. Like many Chinese gymnasts, Dong trained with a gymnastics team from the age of five.