The Chinese delegation came away from Sochi with 3 gold medals, 4 silvers and 2 bronze, good for 12th in the medals table. China Sports Insider reviews the highs and lows…
Zhang Hong, gold, 1,000 m speed skating. Starting in the 7th of 18 heats (when the top ranked skaters typically go at the end), Zhang started slowly but then turned on the burners. Her time ripped up the track record and no one even came close – her winning margin was bigger than the previous four finals combined. Best of all, it was China’s first ever long track Olympic title.
Aside from the drama of the women’s 3,000 m relay – which ended China’s Olympic short track streak in the women’s events at six – there were a couple of heats: 500 m winner Li Jianrou and Fan Kexin safely made it through to the quarterfinals of the women’s 1,000 m, though Liu Qiuhong was disqualified for impeding another skater; on the men’s side, Liang Wenhao, Han Tianyu and Wu Dajing all won their heats and progressed through to the quarterfinals, which start late on Saturday night.
Chinese interest on Valentine’s Day focused on the women’s aerials competition, but it was a late one: three of the four Chinese competitors made it through to the final, which didn’t start until 0130 China time. Once there, all three – Xu Mengtao (above), Li Nina and Cheng Shuang – made it through the first stage as four of the 12 finalists were eliminated; then Xu, the 2013 world champion, and Li, Olympic silver medalist in 2006 and 2010, made it through to the final four with defending champ Lydia Lassila from Australia and Belarusian Alla Tsuper, a 34-year-old mother taking the last jump of a 16-year Olympic career that had seen her finish 5th, 9th, 10th and 8th – but no medals. Continue reading Another medal for China on Day 7→