China experienced the yin and yang of winter sports at the Nagano Olympics. Or rather, the Yang Yang. The alchemy did not quite have the required results as everything they touched turned to silver, not the hoped-for gold. The Chinese delegation said before the start that they wanted to win their first gold medal in Winter Olympic competition to help polish the tarnished image of the country's sports system. A case of forget the drug cases surrounding the swimming team, look at our young, talented winter athletes who have adapted to sports with little history on the mainland. They pointed at Yang Yang, double world champion at short track speed skating. And Guo Dandan, a former gymnast who these days flies through the air with the greatest of ease in the freestyle skiing aerials competition. They had the credentials, the desire and the skill to beat the best in the world. Sadly, they did not have the luck. Yang Yang was jinxed big time. First of all, she was pipped on the line by the South Koreans in the 3,000 metres relay when gold seemed to be in the bag. Then she was disqualified in the 500 metres after wiping out one of her opponents on a bend. The 1,000 metres event looked as if it would be her salvation. She broke the world record on her way to the final and led going into the last lap. But who should be on her shoulder but the big, bad jinx. She tried to elbow it out of the way but ended up being disqualified again. Yang could not believe her ill-luck and fled into the night without talking about her unhappy Games. A Chinese official, asked if he felt she had been jinxed, replied that it was more immaturity that had let her down. Ouch. Guo, the 1996 Asian Winter Games gold medallist in the aerials, took a win or bust attitude to the competition. She bust - her ankle. The diminutive Guo was handily placed in second spot after her first somersault but jarred her right ankle on landing and had to lessen the degree of difficulty of her second jump. The hex had struck again and she ended out of the medals. Silver medallist Xu Nannan was similarly ill-starred having to endure the pain from two dislocated shoulders during the finals. Even the hope of some reflected glory from American ice skater Michelle Kwan, whose father is from China and mother Hong Kong, was shaded when her teammate, Tara Lipinski, upstaged her. Another victim for the jinx. In all, China won six silver and two bronze medals and will have to wait another four years before trying again to end their gold medal drought. Maybe next time they should enter an athlete called Yin Yin.