In this week’s round-up, Taiwan takes centre stage on the world sporting map, golfing teen sensation Guan Tianlang explores America, the most ludicrous claim you’ll hear this decade and a hot sporting WAG.
–Disaster for China at the 2013 World Table Tennis Championships, as the team “only” took 3 out 5 gold medals on offer (compared to 4 out of 4 at the 2012 Olympics). The singles competitions saw business as usual, with China sweeping all four medals (bronze medals are awarded to losing semi-finalists) in both the men’s and women’s draws. But proving once again that China’s sporting teamwork leaves something to be desired, Taiwanese duo Chen Chien-an and Chuang Chih-yuan beat the Chinese pair in the men’s doubles – Taiwan’s first ever gold medal at the World Champs – and the North Koreans won the mixed doubles. Full details here.
–Meanwhile, Taiwan just won its first ever gold medal in international competition in women’s archery at an event in Shanghai. (H/T Ollie Williams who runs the excellent and comprehensive Olympic sports blog Frontier Sports).
–Manny Ramirez continues to tear it up in the Taiwanese baseball league, seeing a nine-game hit streak come to an end and then immediately belting his league-leading seventh home run of the season. The Manny Does Taiwan blog provides full – and I mean full – coverage, including logging the time it takes Manny to round the bases each time it’s outta there.
–Taiwan’s C.K. Wu, the head of the world amateur boxing federation AIBA, has announced his intention to run for the position of IOC President. The UK-educated architect, 66, joined the IOC Executive Committee last year by beating out disgraced cycling federation chief Pat McQuaid, More details from Reuters here.
–In non-Taiwan news, 14-year-old golf sensation Guan Tianlang, who made the cut at two of the three PGA tournaments he’s played this spring (including, of course, at the Masters), will tee it up at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament May 30-June 2, after a personal invitation from the 18-time major winner.
Guan’s recent tweets have been interesting:
“I have learned more in the last 3 tournaments that I competed, than what I have learned in the past three years….In the past 3 tournaments I have learned shot placement around the green, players lifestyle and time management during tournament….As well as play under pressures of millions of watchful eyes.” (May 20)
He’s also been enjoying the strawberries in Texas:
–Check out this interesting profile on MMA in Asia in the New York Times, which includes this ludicrous claim by One Fighting Championship founder Victor Cui:
“In 10 years, mixed martial arts will be the most popular sport in Asia, ahead of soccer, ahead of everything.”
Promote the sport, sure, but don’t treat us like idiots. The NYT does a good job of putting that claim in context.
–Finally, check out Asian Cagers – an extensive scouting database of stats and reports on Asian basketball players. If Yao Ming’s successor is anywhere on the horizon, this site will be on it.