Tag Archives: Yao Ming

More gold medals on the way for China?

Well that was unexpected.

Zhang Hong celebrates China's first ever Olympic speed skating titleChina won the 500 m women’s short track title for the fourth consecutive time – but no one would have guessed that Li Jianrou would be the one to do it – and then Zhang Hong (left) won China’s first ever (long track) speed skating Olympic title in an even more stunning result. It was also the first time China has won two gold medals on the same day at a Winter Olympics.

Continue reading More gold medals on the way for China?

Li Na & sponsors hoping for Australian Open history

Will it be third time lucky for Li Na at the Australian Open? A dominant semifinal performance saw Li put Canada’s rising star Genie Bouchard firmly in her place, racing to a 5-0 first set lead in just 14 minutes, before cruising to a 6-2, 6-4 win.

Li Na reaches Australian Open finalLi will play Dominika Cibulkova – Slovakia’s first Grand Slam finalist – on Saturday evening in Melbourne and will start as the heavy favorite  in her third Australian Open final in four years, against an opponent she’s never lost to in four matches. But in a tournament full of upsets, who’s to say there won’t be one more? Continue reading Li Na & sponsors hoping for Australian Open history

Tiger Woods looks east for earning opportunities [UPDATED]

[UPDATE: Fresh off his Hainan payday and his visit to the Venetian Macao, Tiger spent Friday at the Marina Bay Sands casino-hotel in Singapore, where he held a clinic for young golfers and dyslexic children. Again, call me cynical, but the kids + special needs combo is fooling no one: clearly it’s easier to bank a large, guaranteed sum for a couple of hours of work than fight it out over four rounds with the other pros, even if the $8.5 million on offer this week in Shanghai means there’s plenty to go around. These promotional appearances, by the way, have apparently been in the pipeline for “well over a year”, meaning they would have been on his calendar before any golf tournaments were added].

Tiger Woods flew into Hainan in his private jet on Sunday night, picked up a reported $2+ million for swearing his way around a golf course on Monday, and then made the short flight to Macau on Tuesday, where he visited the Venetian resort. Continue reading Tiger Woods looks east for earning opportunities [UPDATED]

Search for the next Yao goes on…and on

Yao Ming may not have been the first player from China to play in the NBA – that distinction goes to Wang Zhizhi – but Yao’s arrival in the US was supposed to open the doors and let in a steady stream of talent from the east. Unfortunately those doors have now slammed shut with the news that Yi Jianlian doesn’t plan to have another crack at the NBA and will stay in China.

Image
Yi: waving goodbye to the NBA

Continue reading Search for the next Yao goes on…and on

Li Na slams drugs talk with straight sets win

Apologies for the infrequent posts over the last month. I visited a total of seven countries in August, and I’m also in the process of moving server and relaunching the site.

Image
Textbook sponsorship placements. Photo credit: AP

Li Na marches on at the US Open with a 6-3, 6-0 win over 9th seed Jelena Jankovic to reach the quarter-finals and match her best ever performance at Flushing Meadows. Too bad the conversation has focused on everything other than the tennis in recent days. But as every tabloid journalist knows, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Here is today’s Sports Talk column:

Continue reading Li Na slams drugs talk with straight sets win

Weekly Wrap: Taiwan, Guan Tianlang, a ludicrous claim and a hot WAG

In this week’s round-up, Taiwan takes centre stage on the world sporting map, golfing teen sensation Guan Tianlang explores America, the most ludicrous claim you’ll hear this decade and a hot sporting WAG.

Continue reading Weekly Wrap: Taiwan, Guan Tianlang, a ludicrous claim and a hot WAG

Why Liu Xiang should retire

Liu Xiang is out for the season, and will miss the 2013 World Championships in Moscow among other events. Further ahead, the 2015 World Championships will be held in Beijing and the 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio. In 27 Olympics, the oldest ever winner of the 110-metre hurdles was Mark McCoy who was 30 in 1992; Liu will be 33 in Rio.

Image
Liu Xiang: down and out…for good?

Continue reading Why Liu Xiang should retire

Why Stephon Marbury is full of shit

Stephon Marbury is an extremely optimistic fellow. That’s part of what makes him so interesting and his infectious enthusiasm has gained him millions of fans here in China. The way in which he deals with the haters is admirable too: reposting messages of hate and wishing them all the best.

Image
Stephon Marbury: slightly insane

But he’s also full of shit. OK, so maybe that’s a little harsh – he’s often just trying to promote the sport of basketball here – but consider one of the things he said to the China Daily newspaper on Thursday:

Continue reading Why Stephon Marbury is full of shit

Weekly Wrap: Yao Ming’s death and Other Stories

Yao Ming is sadly no longer with us. The seven-week-old giraffe in Houston named after the Chinese NBA star was put down after a month-long bone infection couldn’t be treated. Sorry for leading with a tearjerker – I promise the other stories will be more cheerful!

beckham-china Continue reading Weekly Wrap: Yao Ming’s death and Other Stories

Li Na makes list one year too late

After Time recently named Li Na as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people, my first thought was about the Timing (sorry). Her breakout performance was her French Open win in 2011, so why have they taken this long to put her on the list? Yes, her brand has continued to grow, but her main sponsors jumped on board in summer 2011, immediately after her Grand Slam win.

Anyway, the point of these lists is to generate discussion, so job done there. Interestingly, while many have predicted that Li Na would soon overtake Maria Sharapova as the world’s highest earning sportswoman, Sharapova’s recent deal with Porsche could keep her in the lead for a little while longer.

Here’s this week Sports Talk column:

Influence is a somewhat fluid concept, particularly in connection with Time Magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

To say that Italian soccer player Mario Balotelli – one of just four sports figures on the list – is more influential than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is farcical.

Is he more colorful, more controversial? Yes, on both counts, and those factors sell magazines, so let’s forgive Time their poetic license.
Image Continue reading Li Na makes list one year too late