Mon, September 10, 2012
Sports > Popular News > 2012 London Paralympic Games

China makes history again in Paralympics

2012-09-09 23:19:26 GMT2012-09-10 07:19:26(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LONDON, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- In a similar scenario to the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, China stunned the world again with history-making medal haul of 95 gold, 71 silver and 65 bronze medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, boasting a 59-gold margin against the second finisher Russia's 36-38-28.

As the London 2012 Paralympics lowered its curtain on Sunday, China, who had made history in Beijing 2008 of topping the tally with 89-70-52, refreshed all its records in gold, silver, bronze and total in London 2012 to achieve a hat-trick. China made its Paralympic debut in New York 1984 with only two titles, and first stood top of the Paralympic medal table in Athens 2004 with 63-46- 32.

China's priority gold mine is track and field in which it digged out 33 golds in London, more than one third of its total.

The swimming contributed 24 golds, followed by table tennis 14, wheelchair fencing six, cycling track five, shooting four, and powerlifting three.

Compared to China's traditionally-strong events of track and field, swimming, and table tennis, the Chinese cycling-track team had seven of its eight cyclists crowned.

The Chinese cycling-track team coach Li Peng said, "We did not expect such a good result. In Athens 2004, we got only one gold. In Beijing 2008, we were empty-handed."

"Here, we took five golds, the same as the event's traditional powerhouse and hosts Britain. Our cyclists made a history!" Li added.

Moreover, the first London Paralympic gold went to China's veteran markwoman Zhang Cuiping who also broke the 10-year-old women's R2-10m air rifle world record with nine shots out of the final 10 above 10.3 points.

The record-breaking 90th gold for China was clinched by Xue Lei in the men's 100m-T11 final. And China embraced its 300th gold medal in Paralympic history. The landmark gold, which was also China's 68th title in London, was clinched by amputee Zhao Xu in the men's 100m-T46 final on Sept. 6.

"The win is a breakthrough as China never got any medal in this event before," said Zhao after the race.

In Beijing 2008, hosts China dispatched 332 athletes to compete in all the 20 sports. In London 2012, China sent 282 athletes to compete in 15 out of 21 sports.

Less athletes but better results.

Wang Xinxian, Chef de Mission of the Chinese Paralympic delegation, attributed the triumph firstly to the importance attached by the Chinese government and people to the disabled, which guarantees the systematical training of the para-athletes.

"In the past five years, the Chinese government helped about 10 million disabled lead a better life, about two thirds of the disabled get stable jobs," Wang noted with Xinhua.

"Secondly, the scientific and hard training made the Chinese para-ahtletes stronger and most of them were very confident in top- level competitions," said Wang, adding that the Paralympic debutants gave stunning performances in London.

A total of 134 Chinese para-athletes attended the Paralympics for their first time, but the gold medals they collected accounted for 40 percent of the total, said Wang.

Among the debutants, the 15-year-old swimmer Yang Yang shone mostly with taking four golds and breaking two world records. He is one of China's top gold takers in London.

Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, told a press conference that China boasts a sound system for its disabled people and para-athletes.

Some other countries and regions are studying China's system, Craven said, and expressed the hope that more countries and regions could challenge China in world sports arena to jointly push forward the Paralympic movement.

Sebastian Coe, the Chair of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, spoke highly of China's triumph, saying that China has set up a model for the development of the Paralympic movement.

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