A LONG-DELAYED delegation of Chinese Olympic gold medallists and coaches arrived in Taiwan yesterday for an eight-day visit. The delegation's leader, State Physical Culture and Sports Commission Minister Wu Shaozu , became the first ministerial-level mainland official to step foot on Taiwan soil since private exchanges between the two sides began in the late 1980s. Reports said Taiwan Education Minister Wu Jin might attend a banquet for the athletes. The group had originally been scheduled to depart for Taipei on February 20, but the trip was postponed when Deng Xiaoping died the night before. There was a further delay when some members had to attend the National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference meetings. Reports in Taipei said the delegation, which had originally comprised 24 members, was pared down because some of the athletes had to attend competitions. The group includes weightlifters Tang Lingsheng and Zhan Xugang with their coach Yang Mingxiong; target shooters Yang Ling and Li Duihong and coach Xu Haifeng ; swimmer Le Jingyi and coach Zhou Ming; divers Fu Mingxia , Xiong Ni and coach Yu Fen; judo star Sun Fuming and coach Liu Yungfu; track and field star Wang Junxia and coach Mao Dezhen .