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Second year students show their blistered hands at the Children's Sport School in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. The Shanghai school selects 80 pupils each year, aged between five and six, and trains them for three and a half hours a day, six days a week. Only ten percent of the pupils will be accepted into the Shanghai Sports Institute to continue at a higher level, and only the top students from there will continue to the National School where they will train for the Chinese team in the Olympic Games. Training at the youngest level is far stricter for girls than it is for boys. The girls will reach peak form at the age of around 15 or 16, with a window of only two to three years in which they will be able to perform at the highest level. By the time the girls are 18, their gymnastic career is likely to be over...