Shaolin Sándor Liu, left, and Shaoang Liu, right, have switched from Hungary to join China ©Getty Images

Shaolin Sándor Liu and Shaoang Liu joined the Chinese short track speed skating team after switching their allegiances from Hungary to prepare for the new season as they aim to represent the Asian nation at the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The Hungarian-born brothers were among 27 skaters to attend the month-long training camp that is being held three months before the start of the next World Cup campaign.

Shaolin Sándor and Shaoang have competed for Hungary at the past two Olympic Games, winning gold at both Pyeongchang 2018 and Beijing 2022.

They were born in Hungary but are eligible to represent China due to their Chinese father and opted to switch allegiances before the start of the new season.

The move also came after Zhang Jing, who previously coached the Liu siblings to Olympic glory, left Hungary to become head coach of China’s national team.

Zhang has welcomed the addition of Shaolin Sándor and Shaoang and has already been impressed with their attitude in training.

"They are all quite mature athletes who know what they are doing with their own approach," said Zhang in a report by China Daily.

"Their self-discipline and attention to detail in training are very impressive.

"I hope they can set the example for our young skaters, push them to work harder and inspire the next generation to follow their lead to be more disciplined and more focused."

Lin Xiaojun enjoyed success with China last season after leaving South Korea ©Getty Images
Lin Xiaojun enjoyed success with China last season after leaving South Korea ©Getty Images

Under Zhang’s leadership, Shaolin Sándor and Shaoang steered Hungary to the men's 5,000 metres relay title at Pyeongchang 2018.

Shaoang also enjoyed a successful Beijing 2022, winning men’s 500m gold and men's 1,000m bronze as well as 2000m mixed relay bronze alongside Shaolin Sándor.

The Liu brothers have also won eight world titles between them, with Shaoang claiming six of those.

"We don’t have any issues of fitting in because we’ve been living together with our Chinese grandparents since we were little, plus our father always cooks us Chinese food," said Shaolin.

"The culture and life in China for us are just natural to get used to."

Olympic champions Ren Ziwei and Fan Kexin are also part of the Chinese team having been allowed to sit out last season following their success at Beijing 2022.

Another notable name in the training squad is Lin Xiaojun who competed for China for the first time in the 2022-2023 campaign after leaving South Korea.

Lin, previously known as Lim Hyo-jun, won gold for South Korea at Pyeongchang 2018 before being involved in a legal dispute with the Korea Skating Union.

He was found guilty of sexual harassment following accusations of pulling down a male colleague's trousers in front of female teammates in 2019 before the verdict was overturned.

A bid was made by Lin to gain Chinese citizenship before Beijing 2022 but the International Skating Union did not clear the switch until July last year.

"As a senior athlete, I always try to share as much experience as possible with young teammates and help them grow," Lin told China Daily.

"Now with more veterans with international experience coming back, I really look forward to working together with everyone to help improve Team China’s performances in the new season."