China has invested vast sums of money and resources into generating sporting superstars.
We visited one of the most famous of the nearly 3,000 dedicated sports training centres around the country - the Shichahai academy in Beijing.
It is a hothouse of ambition, where technique and sheer hard work are honed by the state in the quest for Olympic glory.
In room after room we found youngsters whose entire lives are dedicated to a training programme with just one aim - to see the Chinese flag dominate the winners' podium.
These are the youngsters China is training for future Olympics - like junior table tennis star Zhu Dicheng.
It is the sport dubbed "'wiff waff" by London's mayor Boris Johnson at the Beijing games four years ago - but training for the Olympics is no laughing matter for these youngsters - their only complaint is that it isn't gruelling enough.
"Compared with the Olympic gold medallists I have a long way to go. They train all the time, non-stop, every day. I only train in the morning and the afternoon," said Dicheng.
Finding that one star of a generation is like mining for gold - it's drummed into these children they have to push themselves - because there's always someone prepared to work harder.
Coach Zhao Genbo said: "To take part in competitive sport you aim for the highest prize. To become the number one in the medal table is the ultimate target of every team and every athlete."
China's investment paid off in Beijing four years ago when it won the most gold medals.
In London its tally is growing but China is already focused on the next generation.
Sport is another sphere of dominance this rising superpower is determined to conquer.
In Beijing, China won 51 golds compared to America's 36 - though there are predictions China will find it hard to repeat that success.
When we visited the Shichahai Academy it was packed with children - even though it is the middle of summer and the school holidays.
If a young Chinese athlete is picked from across this vast country to attend one of the sporting academies, it is seen as a great opportunity.
Though usually they have to leave their families behind, and dedicate themselves to the sport.