Chinese gymnasts
Tough training: Children are taught to bend their bodies into mind-boggling shapes at the Ningjin Acrobatics School   
Chinese gymnasts
Gymnasts of the future: The children, some as young of four, all have incredibly flexibility as this picture of their training at the Chinese school shows   
Chinese gymnasts
Bending over backwards to be the best: The school was founded in 1959 and taught former gold medal winning gymnast Xiao Qin   
Chinese gymnasts
Building up their strength: This young Chinese girl can hold her entire body up using just one arm    
They came second in the Olympic table after racking up an astonishing 88 medals – 38 of those gold – at London 2012 in the summer.

China has always been renowned for its sporting success at the Games but also for the strict training regimes behind making its athletes.

The country has turned out some of the world’s best gymnasts and these pictures give an insight into the gruelling training their young go through to get to the top.

Gymnastic stars are known for starting at an incredibly early age, and this group of children appear no different as they battled to complete the demanding routines on bars, rings, and mats.

Aged from the tender age of four into their teens, these children are students at the Ningjin Acrobatics School, where they learn to bend their bodies into seemingly impossible positions.

At its peak the school, which was founded in 1959 had over 70 students. The young gymnasts are put through a rigorous stretching routine by their coaches during each training session.

The school where they are being trained is the same one used by Chinese gymnast Xiao Qin, who won the gold medal on the pommel horse in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The 27-year-old started training at the Nanjing school aged five, before being recruited by the ‘August First’ gymnastics team of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 1995.

The youngsters at the same training school will be hoping to emulate the success of Qin, who joined China’s national team in 1999 aged 14.

They pay around 2,500 yuan – about £250 – living expenses every year to learn acrobatics.
SOURCE: Daily Mail

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