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China - Weight of expectation

As hosts, the world is expecting great things from China's Women's team. And if their performances in qualifiers are anything to go by, they stand a decent chance of living up to these expectations.

Even-though their World Cup place was already assured as hosts of the event, China still contested the AFC Asian Cup and won it in impressive style ahead of rivals Korea DPR and Australia.

The job of building on this and introducing a crop of youthful talent falls to the first ever foreign coach of China's women's team, Marika Domanski-Lyfors, who took over from former coach Ma Liangxing.

Before joining China in March 2007, Marika was the manager of her home nation, Sweden, who she led to two FIFA Women's World Cups and made it as far as the final in USA 2003.

Considered a veteran at 23 years of age, speedy striker Han Duan has the hopes of the nation pinned on her performance. She has been on the international scene for seven years earning her first cap at the age of 16 in 2000.

Although still young herself, Han's experience will be especially important to the younger players in the squad. Not only is Han dangerous with her pace and acceleration; she is also a danger in the air with her head (despite being only 5ft 5in tall!) which will be her secret weapon for the competition.

China's aim is to get to the semi-final stages and they believe that their preparation, hard work and home advantage will enable them to achieve their World Cup ambitions.