Will China be first in Beijing Olympics 2008?

Discussion in 'ATHENS 2004 non-badminton events' started by Loh, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    At this Athens Olympics, China surprised many by coming in a close second to ever-dominant USA. Will China overtake the USA at the next Olympics to be held in its own country?

    Many said yes, China will be No. 1! Why? Some reasons given were:

    1. Home-country advantage. The fervour to do one's best in front of own countrymen. A National prestige to be Olympic Champion!

    2. Much younger athletes than the US and 500 of them were in Athens to prepare themselves for 2008. These athletes should be at their peak in Beijing. On the other hand, many of the US athletes may have been retired by then.

    3. In Athens, the Chinese even shone in sports which they were never good at previously, like athletics.

    4. They were already No. 2 in Athens and it is only a matter of a few more gold medals to upstage perennial leader, USA.

    Interesting observation. But I don't think the US will just hand over the gold without a good fight. Their track athletes have failed in Athens but I'm sure the US will bounce back to maintain pole position. Badminton, probably a BIG yes, but overall, BIG question mark!

    What do you think? :)
     
  2. *izzyC*

    *izzyC* Regular Member

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    The possibility of China overtaking USA in the overall medal standing at the next Olympic Games is, IMHO, is rather high... This time in Athens, they are just 3 golds behind the US and they came with a pool of young and inexperience players... and they lose out a few gold medals in table tennis, gymnastics... but I believe the US would be more prepared for Beijing 2008 since it was such a close fight this time and they know the advantages of home crowd, etc are on the Chinese side... The US also performed below expectations this time especially in Basketball, 4X100m relay (men and women)...
     
  3. Hugo

    Hugo Regular Member

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    Even though I'm a huge China supporter, I must say that I don't think China will top the total medal charts in Beijing. In fact, I think they may still be behind Russia to be 3rd overall in medals. It's just that 4 years is just not enough time to truly develop a horde of new world-class atheletes in their much needed areas such as swimming and atheletics. However, I think there is a legitimate chance for them to take 1st overall in GOLDS. They had 32 here in Athens even though they missed out on some key golds in badminton, table tennis, diving, massively in gymnastics, weightlifting........ really they missed out on at least half a dozen or more golds in which they were the favorites, ranked 1st, predicted to win, or defending champions. At the same time, the US also failed to win several of their "for sure" golds. This time, China performed horrendously and well below expectations in one of their traditional strongsuits, gymnastics. Look for them to rebound back in that department in BJ.

    You already listed several reasons for China's possible ascent to number 1. There are still more on the list:
    - China's teams gets free entry to many teams sports as they are host (basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc.....). This means that there will be one more spot open for Asian teams.

    - Some relatively weak or new sports will receive more funding and atheletic participation after success in Athens. These include track & field and tennis.

    Overall though, everybody has realized that China is on the rise, with increases in golds and total medals in each of the past olympics. With a new trend towards proliferation in all sports, it's only going to be a matter of time before they emerge as world number 1!
     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Here is another view on the subject:



    China reveals '119 project' to be world's No 1 sporting nation in Beijing Olympics 2008
    Leonard Thomas

    newstoday.com

    CHINA � making no bones of its intentions to overtake the Americans when it hosts Beijing Olympics 2008 � revealed its secret programme to become the world's sporting powerhouse. .
    The programme � simply entitled the "119 project" � is based on the total number of medals that the best athletes in the world battle for in track and field, swimming and other water sports (excluding diving)..
    The number of Olympic gold medals hover around the 301 mark. In Sydney 2000, China won only one gold medal in these three fields..
    At the just concluded Athens Olympics, China won an unprecedented 31 gold medals, only second to the Americans' 35. For a nation seeking to become the world's No 1 in sport, that is not enough..
    "You are probably the first foreign journalist to hear of the '119 project'," China Radio International reporter Yang Binyuan, told Today on Saturday..
    "We launched the '119 project' to encourage Chinese athletes to win in basic sports like track and field, swimming and in watersports like sailing and canoe/kayak events, as we have missed out on a lot of gold medals there." .
    The project is paying dividends already and now, the possibility looms large that Beijing 2008 will see the Asian giant overhaul the Americans at the top of the gold medal standings..
    China's dominance in their traditional strengths like diving, weighlifting, table tennis, badminton and shooting continued in Athens..
    But crucially, four of their 31 gold medals came from sports linked to the "119 project". .
    In the 110m hurdles last Friday, Liu Xiang became a national hero, the first man from China to win track gold, as he equalled the world record time of 12.91sec..
    Minutes later, compatriot Xing Huina stunned the world when she won the women's 10,000m..
    In the pool, Luo Xuejuan struck gold in the women's 100m breastroke..
    And Meng Guanliang and Yang Wenjun teamed up in the men's C2 500m canoe/kayak event to be crowned kings..
    It has helped China make history at the XXVIII Games, which ended yesterday (this morning, Singapore time)..
    The most populous nation in the world plundered their biggest ever medal haul in an Olympics, with 17 silvers and 14 bronze medals, to go with the 31 golds..
    Russia and Australia were well and truly overwhelmed, as the Chinese sporting juggernaut pushed the powerful United States all the way..
    The Americans' 35 were six short of their 2000 gold medal number, and they added 38 silvers and 28 bronze medals to only just pip the Chinese..
    Speak to the Chinese here and they say the 2008 Beijing Games -- Asia's first as hosts since Tokyo 1964 -- began as soon as the Athens Olympic flame was no more..
    President Hu Jintao has told International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge that the 2008 Beijing Games will be the best in history..
    The US$33.8 billion China are spending on Olympic-related infrastructure alone is a key component in the country's plan to deliver on Hu's considerable boast..
    Unlike Athens, organisers say construction for the Beijing Games will be completed by 2007, a year before the event..
    Said reporter Yang: "The focus for Chinese sport is to organise the best ever Olympic Games..
    "That's the main priority as it means so much to all of us.".
    "But of course, we want to be first in the medal standings in Beijing," he added..
    "Make no mistake, the Chinese public very much wants China to be ahead of the Americans and be the No 1 in 2008.".
    Perhaps crucially, most of China's athletes that starred here in Athens will be at their peak in Beijing..
    The 407-strong Chinese contingent for the Athens Games was the country's biggest ever at an Olympics..
    Significantly, the average age of a Chinese athlete was 23.3..
    Li Furlong, deputy chef-de-mission for the Chinese contingent, said: "We set forth two principles: firstly, the best use of every qualification place, secondly a preference for younger athletes. There are 227 Chinese athletes under the age of 23 here..
    "It is a chance for us to prepare for Beijing 2008." .
    Chinese athletes are exposed to the best training, mentally, physically and tactically..
    If their own coaches were found wanting, deputy chef-de-mission Li revealed that the country have not been averse to hiring foreign talent..
    China currently employ foreign coaches for football, handball, basketball and hockey..
    But a major weakness for the Chinese remain their lack of success in team events, although sports official, Duan Shijie, said: "The target is for our various teams to finish in the top eight in their events, when Beijing 2008 comes around..
    "We are still have four years to go to achieve that target.".
    The Americans are bracing themselves for an almighty challenge from China..
    Craig Neff, assistant managing editor of the world-renowned Sports Illustrated magazine, said: "We fully expect China to challenge us for top spot..
    "They have just made a breakthrough in athletics with their two gold medals and they have such a young contingent here..
    "The US are still well ahead in swimming and track and field, China's athletes will be at their peak on home soil and it is possible that they could go ahead of us.".
    Clearly, Americans have had a few disappointments in Athens..
    The Marion Jones saga and the team's poor performance in tennis and in the 4x100m track relays probably cost them a few more golds, but according to Neff, the medal target has been met..
    "For us, the total medal haul is the barometer for Olympic success," said Neff..
    "The American team's Athens total is 101 medals, compared to 97 in Sydney, so it is pretty much what we expected.".
    Just how would the Americans back home react, if the team are overhauled by China in four years?.
    "The public thinks the US should always win the most golds," he said..
    "But just look at our men's basketball team. It's no longer a sure thing..
    "The time will come when we'll be overtaken, if not in 2008, then maybe in 2012.".
    China dangled the biggest ever carrot for their athletes at these Olympics..
    A gold medallist stood to pocket 200,000 yuan..
    Silver medallists would take home 150,000 yuan and third-placed finishers 100,000 yuan..
    Journalist Yang believes that for 2008, the monetary rewards for successful athletes will be much higher..
    Indeed, it does look as if the Americans are in for a real fight.
     
  5. Hugo

    Hugo Regular Member

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    Good article, Kwun!

    Also, the monetary winnings that come with Olympic gold is another incentive to achieve. Of course, the atheletes will be seeking national pride first and money second.

    It's interesting to note that hurdler Liu Xiang will receive far more than the 200, 000 originally stated. As he made history to be the first Chinese male atheletics gold medallist, he receives 1,000,000 yuan!!!
     
  6. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    Did anyone expect them to get the XD Gold?
    China might not get that next time around.
    And if they get no medals in MS with world rankings of 1,2, and whatever Bao Chunlai was, there's no reason to expect a Gold in MS in 2008.
    And MD is not as dominant as MS, so I think even repeating 3 Gold in Badminton will be a good result.
     
  7. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    The US could easily lose their grip on getting the most Golds by 2008.
    Over half of their Golds in this games came from Athletics and Swimming.
    I feel that the total medals will take longer.
     
  8. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    yeah. i think the Chinese has it right. aim for the athletic and swimming events and if they can even make a little bit more penetration into those fields, they should be able to unseat US in gold count.

    it is shown to be posssible with Liu and Xing. and China found the more fringe events like the hurdles and long distance. not sure if that's possible with shorter distance though, i think it will be very difficult.

    4 years is neither a long or short time. not enough time to groom a talent from scratch, but enough time to refine current ones.

    the article actually clears up why Lin Dan and Bao Chunlai was the clear choice for LiYB, leaving the last spot to be battled between Chen Hong and Xia. it was all because of 2008.
     
  9. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    The most medals can be won in athletics and swimming, which used to be dominated by the US, but they did not perform as well in Athens as they did in Sydney, it would appear. Therefore it is imperative that China continues to improve in these two sports if she wants to dethrone the US. But the US may have other ideas to redress their position in Athens and show her prowess again in Beijing. And just like China, the US may decide to pay more attention to her 'weaker' events and do a China in Beijing! :D But do not hope for a transformation in US badminton, please. ;)
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    More Golds than Silver and Bronze

    Actually China's performance at the Athens Olympics can only be termed "astonishingly impressive"!

    With 32 Gold, 17 Silver and 14 Bronze, China has captured more gold than silver and bronze. The difference between gold and silver is 15 in gold's favour and even more when compared to bronze (18).

    The US garnered 35 G, 39 S and 29 B whilst third-placed Russia, in terms of the number of gold medals won, did no better at 27, 27, 38.

    Other countries that won more gold than silver include Australia (17v16), Japan (another Asian country showing good improvement, 16v9), France (11v9), single-digit gold winners from the former Soviet satellite, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Uzbekistan. Cuba, Norway, Brazil, Sweden, New Zealand, Thailand also shared this distinction with at least three gold.

    Nothing like being first in your sport at the Olympics! It becomes less meaningful to be World No. 1 and yet NOT being able to capture the Olympic Crown, which is the most prestigious and relatively rare at 4-yearly intervals. :)
     
  11. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Peter Ueberroth, chairman of th US Olympic Committee, said he was watching China pile up gold medals with concern. In response, Yuen Weimin, Chinese Olympic Committee president, told Ueberroth not to worry and that China will not topple the US. The scene is thus set for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The US knows who is knocking at the door and breathing down its neck. China also knows which country it has to overtake.
     

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