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Olympic athletes given boost by ECU expert

Thursday, 14 June 2012

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International athletes are turning to ECU’s expertise in strength and conditioning to boost their performance in the build up to the London Olympic Games.

Senior lecturer and strength scientist, Dr Greg Haff recently returned from Beijing, China where he was advising the Chinese Olympic Coaches and athletes on their final Olympic preparations. He was one of only two international experts invited to attend the Chinese National Coaches’ seminar by the Deputy Director of the Chinese Olympic Committee Dr Liu Aijie.

In his presentation, Dr Haff shared his expertise on the latest evidence based theories on training in order to assist them in their athlete’s final preparations for the Games.

Dr Haff said the invitation to present was a great honour and a mutually rewarding experience.

“To be given access to Chinese coaches and Olympic athletes such as 2008 Olympic gymnastic Gold medallist Cheng Fai and Gold medallist weightlifter Lu Young was simply amazing,” Dr Haff said.

“As a weightlifter, weightlifting coach and weightlifting sport scientist to have the opportunity to converse with some of the best coaches and athletes in my own area of expertise was simply outstanding.”

“Watching Lu Young perform the back squat exercise with 260kg weights was phenomenal, he was squatting over triple his body weight with apparent ease. His performance in training really proved to me why he has dominated his weight class since the last Olympic Games,” Dr Haff said.

Dr Haff believes that such unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Chinese coaching and scientific organisations is the first step in further establishing academic exchanges and cooperation on the scientific field of sports training.

“My experience in China was incredible, it gave me an opportunity to see a side of Chinese sport that many Western sport scientists do not have access to,” Dr Haff said.

“I believe that this trip is the first step in a potential research relationship with the Chinese Olympic Committee and that the possibilities of collaboration are endless.”

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