Waxworks in China can either be good – like this one of Li Na in Wuhan – or very, very bad – like this one of Vladimir Putin in Fuzhou. Fortunately, Madame Tussauds’ latest creation of swimmer Ye Shiwen falls into the former category and gets a solid 8 out of 10 on the official China Sports Insider waxometer.
Li Na has always had a strained relationship with the Chinese media – particularly the written press – who accuse her of being arrogant and disrespectful. But as this week’s Sports Talk column discusses, those media now need Li Na far more than she needs them, especially since she has already won over the global press with her Australian Open victory speech, and has a global profile that’s higher than ever given her rise to number 2 in the rankings. Here is an extract:
No, we’re not talking about a Brazilian here. Chinese tennis superstar Li Na recently unveiled a wax statue of herself at the Madame Tussauds museum in her hometown of Wuhan, ahead of the museum’s official opening on September 28. Li Na is to Wuhan what pandas are to Chengdu so a statue of her was a must, especially since the WTA Tour will visit Wuhan for the first time in September 2014. The likeness is…well…interesting.
Judge for yourself here: Continue reading Li Na gets waxed
I don’t mean to patronize Wu Di (吴迪), but his first round loss to Croatia’s Ivan Dodig at the Australian Open is still something to be celebrated.
The 21-year-old from Wuhan became the first Chinese man to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament in the professional era. He had qualified via a wildcard playoff in Nanjing last year, and despite an early break at the start of the match and a solid second set, he went down 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6.
No one – not the fans, not the bookmakers, not even Wu himself – expected the youngster to overcome the world number 74 in Melbourne. That much was clear from Wu’s post-match comments, when he conceded that Dodig is a much better player.
China and Japan may be duking it out for territorial bragging rights in the East China Sea, but on the tennis court it is very much advantage China.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced this week that, from 2014, a new tournament in Wuhan will replace the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, which will celebrate a bittersweet 30th – and last – anniversary this year.
This is shaping up to be a huge tournament, with at least seven of the year-end ranked top 10 players due to appear in Li Na’s hometown, competing for more than $2 million in prize money.