In recent years, Japan and China have had a, shall we say, “strained” relationship, but the Japanese may have just pulled one over their rivals in the most unlikeliest of places – table tennis, currently China’s most watched sport.
China has won 24 of a possible 28 gold medals in Olympic ping pong history, adding another 15 silver and 8 bronze. Japan, in contrast, has won a solitary silver medal in seven attempts since the sport was first included in the Olympics in 1988.
But, in perhaps the most sneaky sporting move since Myanmar handpicked most of the sports for this year’s Southeast Asian Games, Japan has moved to level the playing field, by doing exactly that – literally, making sure that the playing field is level. Confused? Continue reading Levelling the playing field
China’s Zhang Jilong seeking permanent AFC role
May 2 could be a significant day in the Chinese football calendar. The Asian Football Confederation, or AFC, will elect a full-time president, and current interim boss, China’s Zhang Jilong, is among the favorites. Zhang has been head of the AFC since Mohamed Bin Hamann was suspended by FIFA in May 2011.
Continue reading Weekly Wrap Pt 2: AFC elections, cycling, table tennis
It’s normally Myanmar’s politics that get the international spotlight, but this week it has been their bizarre sporting choices. The new Burmese capital Naypyidaw will host the 27th Southeast Asian Games later this year and, perhaps fittingly, they’ve chosen some new sports. Vovinam, tarungderajat, kempo and chinlone are all on the agenda and if you haven’t heard of them, you’re not alone.
In fact, most of the other nations are pissed.
Charoen Wattanasin, vice president of the Thai National Olympic Committee, complained that regulations allow for eight traditional sports, not the 14 selected by the hosts:
“Nine out of the 14 are martial arts. They are — well, I can’t even remember their names.”
Continue reading Friday Fun: Myanmar stacks the deck with wildcards