Tag Archives: China’s National Games

Megalomaniacal managers manufacture medal mania

Here’s a look back at last’s month National Games, held in China every four years. I’ve written before about the ludicrous medal system that meant Heilongjiang province had amassed 43 medals before the Games even kicked off¬†and how Sun Yang effectively racked up 11 medals. But the reason for all this medal mania is largely down to local sports officials who assume (usually correctly) that their promotion prospects depend on a nice haul of metal from their athletes, sort of like a sporting parallel to how local governments seek inflated GDP numbers. This leads to all sorts of tricks, including the trading of athletes between provinces. Here’s an extract:

ImageMengke Bateer is one of Inner Mongolia’s most famous sporting sons – sporting or otherwise. But the first Chinese basketball player to win an NBA Championship is the ultimate homer, representing represented host province Shandong Province in 2009 as well as host provinceand Liaoning Province in 2013. How do Inner Mongolians feel when they see him representing another province instead of their own? What do those in Shandong or Liaoning think when they know that they have sporting mercenaries instead of locals representing them?

Full article is here.

Sun Yang wins 10 golds, 1 bronze at National Games

Remember how the medal tally system at China’s National Games is ridiculous, with certain performances from nearly four years ago being converted into medals that actually count at this event? Well, this is what happens. According to the official rules for counting medals, swimming star Sun Yang has won 11 medals for Zhejiang, 10 of them gold. Here’s how:

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Photo credit Victor Puig, victorpuig.com

Continue reading Sun Yang wins 10 golds, 1 bronze at National Games

Is Ye Shiwen back?

A little over a month ago, 17-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen was in pieces. The reigning Olympic champion in both the 200 and 400 IM had failed to win a medal in either race at the World Championships in Barcelona, and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu had reclaimed her position as the medley queen.

But things are looking up for Ye. She won both events in Shenyang at the Chinese National Games, but more importantly her times were competitive:

A tired Ye Shiwen after victory in the 400 IM
A tired Ye Shiwen after victory in the 400 IM

Continue reading Is Ye Shiwen back?

Medal tally, scandals turn China’s National Games into a joke

The far northeastern province of Heilongjiang came into China’s National Games with 43 medals already in the bank. Yes, you read that right. 17 gold medals were “won” before the official start of the Games, and only one of those was due to an event being scheduled ahead of the opening ceremony. That’s because some bright spark had the idea of converting medals from previous events into medals that actually count at the National Games:

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Everyone’s a winner at China’s National Games!

Continue reading Medal tally, scandals turn China’s National Games into a joke