Like athletes the world over, China's sports stars have spent the last four years dreaming of Olympic glory. In Atlanta, a lucky few will have the chance to turn that dream into reality. The Chinese have been hard at work, hoping to repeat their successful run in Barcelona when they took home 16 gold, 22 silver and 16 bronze medals, finishing fourth in the standings behind the Unified Team of former Soviet states, the US and Germany. China's traditional strengths and main medal hopes lie in swimming, diving, table tennis, gymnastics, shooting, track and field, and judo. The Chinese team to Atlanta consists of 176 officials and coaches and 319 athletes who will compete in 153 events in 22 sports. The rest of the world is familiar with China's track and field and swimming stars - because of their successes and the controversy that has sometimes followed not too far behind. But China has earmarked four sports - shooting, diving, gymnastics and table tennis - as the main hopes for gold. Shooting: Chen Muhua from Wuxi could get China off to a flying start by winning the Games' first gold medal in the women's air rifle event. Chen, 23, is making her Olympic debut so her ability to cope at such a high level of competition could make or break her chances of snaring a medal. 'I am a bit nervous because it is my first Olympic appearance and this event is very competitive,' Chen said. 'I have to work hard to get my scores up.' China's other top prospects in shooting are the defending Olympic men's air pistol champion Wang Yifu , Li Duihong in the women's air pistol and women's double trap world record holder Xu Xiang . Head coach Zhang Heng said China also had a realistic chance of winning the men's 10 metres running target event. 'Our main opponents will be the Russians, Italians, Germans, Romanians and Czechs,' Zhang said. 'In Barcelona, we won two golds and two silvers. There are 15 events in Atlanta compared with 13 in Barcelona, so we have an even greater chance of improving on our record from four years ago.' Diving: The Chinese diving team stole the limelight in Barcelona when they won three gold medals from four events. China's most outstanding diver at the Barcelona Games was Fu Mingxia , who stunned the world when she won the platform event at the age of 14. In Atlanta, Fu will defend her platform title and compete in the springboard event. China has a virtual stranglehold on the women's springboard competition. Should Fu fail to win, the country can still count on the reliable Tan Shuping , the Asian Games gold medallist. In the men's platform competition, 22-year-old Xiong Ni will be hoping to improve on his Barcelona silver medal performance. China suffered a major setback when Sun Shuwei failed to qualify for Atlanta. The 21-year-old won gold in the men's platform in Barcelona, the first time a Chinese diver had won this event. Gymnastics: Since capturing two golds in 1992, China's gymnasts have improved by leaps and bounds. The men won the team title at both the 1994 and 1995 World Championships. Barcelona gold medallist Li Xiaoshuang will defend his title in the men's floor exercises and is also looking to win the all-round crown. The women's team includes 16-year-old Mo Huilan , the world balance beam champion, and the reigning floor exercises world champion Kui Yuanyuan . Chinese Gymnastics Association vice-chairman Zhang Jian is worried that the team may not adapt so well to the conditions in Atlanta. 'Our gymnasts have to overcome problems of time-lag, food and weather. That's why we tend to do better in Asia than in Europe or the US - like the World Championships which were held in Japan last year,' said Zhang. Table tennis: Not many would argue that China will dominate the table tennis following their clean sweep of seven gold medals at last year's World Championships in Tianjin. The Chinese team took three golds out of four at the Barcelona Games, missing out only on the men's singles title. Women's world number one Deng Yaping is odds on favourite to defend her gold medals in the singles and doubles, with long-time partner Qiao Hong . Deng's main rival for the singles will be Japan's Chire Koyama, who left China for Japan in 1988. The 32-year-old Koyama, who was known as He Zhili when she ruled as the world's number one player in the late 1980s, was branded a traitor by China when she beat Deng for the Asian Games gold medal two years ago. The men's team will be represented by world champion Kong Linghui , Wang Tao and Lu Lin in the singles. World doubles champion Kong will pair up with Liu Guoliang , while Wang will team up with Lu for the doubles event.