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→
There was no actual sport on Friday February 7 in Sochi, but there was plenty of action, not least the opening ceremony, which kicked off at 20:14 local time. The Chinese team, led by figure skater Tong Jian, was described by one website as “reliably pleasant peppermint candies“. Here’s why:
China has long been known as a Summer Olympic powerhouse (3rd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd in last four Games), with an almost impenetrable grip on sports such as diving and table tennis, but in recent years, it has been at the Winter Olympic Games where China has made the most improvements.
China finished in 16th place in the medal table in Nagano in 1998, then posted 13th and 14th place finishes in Salt Lake City and Turin respectively, but leapt up to 7th in Vancouver four years ago and, in the process, became a genuine force to be reckoned with at the Winter Olympics. Here are the most likely contenders to win medals for the motherland in Sochi: Continue reading Winter Olympics preview: China’s medal hopes [UPDATED]→
I wrote last week about speed skater Wang Meng breaking her ankle after she crashed into an as-yet-unnamed male teammate, putting a serious dent into China’s Olympic hopes. Some people have pointed out to me since that China doesn’t exactly need much sympathy when it comes to the Olympics – their last six medal tables have seen them finish 4th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd.