“It was a great day for the Chinese, who finished seventh at the Athens Olympics. They haven't won a medal at worlds since 1999 and in 2003, they infamously gave away the bronze when an athlete was penalized for warming up for her beam routine on the podium near the beam, which wasn't allowed.” This is a portent of things to come. We all know that China will host the Olympics in 2008, what many people may not be aware of is the huge commitment they have made to sporting excellence. They will be a factor to be reckoned with in all sports, not just the sports where they have traditionally done well. They just had excellent success at the World Rowing Championships. I have spoken to several coaches and sport scientists who have been there is the past year and the word is scary. They have taken talent identification to the max. One story is that in men’s volleyball if you are not 2 meters tall they will not even look at you. Let’s not be naïve, doping is probably a factor, but when you have large and diverse a population and coaching you can’t help but be successful. They have taken the systematic approach of the former eastern European countries and invested huge sums of money and human resources to achieving world domination in sport.