New Delhi: He is as an unlikely candidate for a medal in the Chinese Olympic contingent, but then nothing about 18-year-old Alex Hua Tian is what meets the eye. The lanky Eton schoolboy will be riding for glory, the only Chinese athlete in a three-day event in Beijing.
"It turns a few heads really. I was the first Chinese rider to be registered with the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, so I think a few people will possibly be a bit doubtful. But I think I have proved myself over this last year and hopefully they'll be cheering me on," he said.
Tian qualified on not just one, but four horses and has been training with the world's best, and the excitement of being in the Olympics is bubbling all over him.
"How do you explain how you feel about going to the biggest sporting event in the world for your home country? I mean it's the biggest honour really. I try not to think about it really, because in the end I am probably in the best situation out of all the people there because I've never been to the Olympics before, so I don't know what I don't know," he stated.
Five other Chinese riders will compete with him in the Olympics, but Tian is the strongest contender of the lot and at the end of the Beijing games, it will be back to school for this Olympian.