The Beijing 2008 world press briefing, more Liu Xiang and Allen Johnson to come, BOCOG news, another WTA event in Guangzhou…it’s all here (well, links to it are, anyway!) at the CSB.
Liu set to shine as season starts winding down (China Daily, via AFP)
Liu Xiang vs. Allen Johnson road show moves to Korea (IAAF)
Beijing 2008 World Press Briefing update (GamesBids.com)
International media get Olympic preview (China Daily)
BOCOG to provide quality service for news media (China Daily)
Delegation of Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan visiting China (Azertac)
Jankovic, Li roll in Guangzhou openers (The Sports Network)
Chakvetadze, Medina Garrigues advance in China (The Sports Network)
5th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture in Beijing, October 22-24 (International Olympic Committee)
IOC president speaks highly of sports development in Cyprus (with quotes from Chinese IOC member He Zhenliang – People’s Daily Online)
Cycling: Rider on road to Olympic first (Li Fuyu becomes first Chinese to sign with a UCI Pro Tour team (Discovery Channel) – People’s Daily Online)
The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will play a pre-season game in Beijing in 2007. Whispers of an NFL game in China have been making the rounds for months but the official announcement was finally made this weekend. A great choice of teams, especially for your CSB correspondent, who went to university in Boston and spent almost ten years there…and who has now relocated to Seattle. Who do I cheer for? Oh, the angst! At least, I have almost a year to figure it out…the game will be held on August 8, 2007, exactly one year before the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics.
Patriots, Seahawks to play in China Bowl next year (Reuters)
NFL in China: The “other” football to play game in Beijing (Shanghaiist.com)
The world championships in badminton are being held in Madrid this week, and as usual, China is dominating. Check out the event website for all of the latest news.
The Shanghai Golden Grand Prix’s second running was a great success, and Liu Xiang delivered for the home fans – but not without just a bit of nervous-making. A fast starter’s gun led to a very slow start for Liu, and it took most of the race for him to catch up to American Allen Johnson. In the end, Liu won it with two one-hundredths of a second to spare. The IAAF has the story (once again, written by yours truly, with reportingÂ assistance from Arthur Kao, who was fortunate to be at the meet live in Shanghai).
I know you do. I really do. It’s the most-searched phrase that leads readers to the China Sports Blog: “CCTV-5 schedule.” Everyone in the world watches CCTV-5, China Central Television’s all-sports all-the-time television channel. And everyone wants to read an English-language schedule, and none exists. It’s a shame because the miracle of satellite television makes it possible for ping-pong fans in Germany and women’s volleyball fans in the United States to watch great coverage from China, where both of those sports are a very big deal. (I know, ping pong is big in Germany too, but still.) Anyway, here’s what I’ve got: links to the CCTV websites, which of course are in Chinese. As much as I’m able (very helpful if you email me with specific requests), I’ll keep an eye out for coverage of big events and will post it here on the CSB.
Tennis fans can follow the draw for the China Open at The Sports Network’s tennis page. Peng Shuai is having a great tournament – despite being unseeded, she was the only one of the Chinese players to make the semifinals, with a second-round win against eighth-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia and a three-set win against Japan’s Ai Sugiyama. She’ll have to get past some very big guns to win it, though: her semifinal opponent is Svetlana Kuznetsova, the number-two seed and former Grand Slam champion, and the other semifinal pits world number one Amelie Mauresmo against fellow U.S. Open semifinalist Jelena Jankovic.
On Saturday the second Shanghai Golden Grand Prix track and field meet will be held at Shanghai Stadium. The meet features fourteen events but the headliner of course is China’s Liu Xiang facing off against Allen Johnson, the legendary hurdler who upset Liu last weekend in the IAAF World Cup in Athens. The IAAF has published a preview article on the event, written by yours truly. Check out the event website for coverage in English. One note: the website doesn’t seem to be updating news from the event as quickly as other news websites out there – last we heard, Terrence Trammell and Dominique Arnold had pulled out earlier this week due to injury, but the start lists on the event website still have both of their names listed. Stay tuned…
Liu Xiang is in the middle of a busy two weeks – last weekend he ran as part of Asia’s team at the IAAF World Cup in Athens, and this weekend he’ll defend his title at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix. Liu was upset in Athens by American Allen Johnson, who, astonishingly, is as much a household name in China as Liu himself is…The Chinese have a great deal of respect for Johnson for his longevity (he was the 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles) and sportsmanship.
Johnson beats Father Time as well as Liu and Robles (IAAF.org)
In women’s tennis, the China Open has begun in Beijing, and Li Na, China’s top singles player, won her first match, as did Zheng Jie, who has had tremendous success in both singles and doubles this year.
Li, Kirilenko win China openers (The Sports Network)
IAAF.org has posted notes from the pre-competition press conference at the IAAF World Cup in Athletics being held this weekend in the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Liu Xiang is featured prominently, in one of the more in-depth interviews I’ve seen with him in the English-language media this year. Liu is definitely the one to watch in Athens; he’s broken the 110-meter hurdles world record this year already and is being chased by a young Cuban, Dayron Robles, who himself has teased the world record this season. Look out for a scorcher if both men run clean races.
I’ve added a link to BusinessWeek’s Asia section on the Sports Business page of the CSB. More and more over the last seven months of writing the blog, it’s become apparent to me that sport in China is a huge business and media story as much as it’s a story about the score, the games, the championships, and the people playing the games. The subjects are beginning to intertwine so much that I recommend anyone who wants to understand the sports world in China make a point of reading about Asian business on a regular basis.
In China they have a term – å›½çƒ (guoqiu, pronounced “gwoh-chee-oo”) – which literally means “country ball,” as in, the country of China. It’s the term for “national sport,” and in mainland China, the national sport is most assuredly ping pong.
Not so, necessarily, in Taiwan, where baseball has really taken off. Taiwan has several representatives in the major leagues, and the Los Angeles Times is reporting today on Taiwanese Heritage Day at Mets Stadium in New York last night at Shea Stadium.
Taiwanese players have made great inroads in MLB and the fans have been there to support them all the way. When the Yankees came to Safeco Field in Seattle recently to play the Mariners, there were national flags everywhere in the stands to support Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.
[By the way, the CSB makes no distinction between the various Chinese-speaking areas of Asia when it comes to commentating on Chinese sports culture. The focus of this blog is the sports cultures of ethnic Chinese populations in Asia, so Hong Kong and Taiwan sports culture are as much fair game as mainland China. I'd prefer to leave the politics to the politicians and let the athletes play their games, regardless of whether they live in Beijing, Taipei, or the New Territories. For the record, all three of these areas compete separately in the Olympics: the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, known in the Olympic movement as Chinese Taipei.]
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