Wed, October 28, 2009
Sports > Popular News > China's 11th National Games

Veterans steal show at Chinese National Games

2009-10-28 09:19:32 GMT2009-10-28 17:19:32 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JINAN, East China, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- When the 11th National Chinese Games came to an end on Wednesday, veterans who challenged their age and younger rivals in the games had their names written in history books. Following are the veteran stars who came to spotlight at the Games:

1. Xiao Aihua, 38, female, fencer

Participating a record six National Games, Xiao won gold medals at five editions and claimed individual and team golds in foil for a fourth consecutive time at the 11th Games. Announcing retirement and comeback several times, the fencer said it's for real that she called it quits after the 11th Games, but who knows?

2. Zhang Shan, 41, female, shooter

The former Olympic champion added a silver medal to her medal tally at the National Games, making a total of two gold and two silver medals at the prestigious meet. Also with a record participation of six times, Zhang never really bids farewell to the sport she adores so much.

"If you see an old lady standing in the shooting range and train very hard sometime in future, that would be me," she said.

3. Yin Jian, 31, male, sailor

Securing the first ever sailing gold medal for China at last year's Beijing Olympics, Yin was not even a favorite for the National Games due to lingering injuries. The sailor finally finished with a ninth place in her event and called it quits immediately after the match. But sailing will still be a part of her life as Yin plans to open a water sport club.

4. Qian Zhenhua, 30, male, modern pentathlete

Qian is seen as China's godfather in modern pentathlon, taking part in three Olympics with the best fourth place in Beijing Olympics. The athlete never regrets to have spent more than ten years in the sport. The seventh place in the National Games might not be a good end to Qian's career as an athlete, but he has been ready for another legend when he said he will be coming back in the12th Games as a coach or a judge.

5. Yuan Aijun, 32, male, weightlifter

Yuan failed to win his fourth straight gold medal at the just concluded National Games but he said it's time for the come-of-age youngsters to take central stage. Having retired from the weightlifting career, Yuan will continue with his studies at the Beijing Sports University.

6. Xian Dongmei, 34, female, Judoka

As coach, team director, a mother and judoka, Xian said these titles are not pressure but momentum to keep going for her. Adding another National Games gold to her trophies room, the comeback queen couldn't ask for more.

7. Wang Feng, 30, male, diver

Registering five National Games to his name, the Beijing Olympic champion collected his third National Games gold on home soil and held his wedding ceremony which has been delayed for two years. Asked about retirement, Wang said he did not have answer.

8. Jiang Cuihua, 36, female, cyclist

Staying with her son together in Jinan, Jiang competed her fifth National Games. Although Jiang only won the fourth place in the women's 500m time trial, the veteran earned respect and cheers. As China's sole Olympic cycling medalist, Jiang will take another challenge by becoming the coach of her hometown team.

9. Huang Xu, 30, male, gymnast

"Capping off a career doesn't mean winning a gold but mean hanging in there to the last minute!" Huang said of his forthcoming retirement. The prodigy in gymnastics failed to win any medal at the National Games but kept an open mind.

10. Zhang Xiuyun, 33, female, rower

Zhang became fascinated in rowing 20 years ago, but the heart attack ruined her dreams of competing in the Olympics twice. A gold at this year's National Games will be sweet memory for the rowing legend.

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