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Is China set to dominate sport?

by Saj C - BBC Sport (U1654777) 23 January 2007
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The growing reputation of Ding Junhui in snooker has provided another boost for sport in China.

The teenager's path to stardom was achieved thanks to support from his family, but in other sports, especially Olympic-related, the Chinese government are providing facilities and training for athletes who they not only expect to compete with the best, but to be the best.

At the last Olympics, China picked up 32 gold medals, coming second only to the United States.

The country is producing athletes who are also among the elite in the world's most popular sports - Yao Ming in the NBA, Li Na and Zie Zheng in women's tennis and Liu Xiang in athletics.

While golf, its popularity fast-growing in China, has a 16-year-old by the name of Hu Mu, ready to dominate the sport just like... well, you know who.

So is China ready to brush the United States to one side and become the next sporting superpower?

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posted Jan 23, 2007

Certainly they will challenge, not just in sport but in all manner of pursuits.Invest in sport and your reward is a healthy nation, not just in body but more importantly in mind.
To have a feast of champions has a feel good factor for all of the people, not to mention the fine example that it sets its young.
As for its effect on snooker, Ding has got to prove he is in The same class as Hendry, O'sullivan,J.Higgins and mark williams. I think he will but he has not shown that yet. No matter how many billion play this game I think the standard of Hendrys play when he compiled those seven centuris in a U.K final will never be improved on. So many things have to come together to have a performance like that, Run of the ball and luck in the pack and being in the zone etc, etc.
Total control in any match is never going to be available,and performance wise it has reached a plateau that it will remain on.
Great britain and its players has ruled snooker, this is snookers spiritual home and that will never change.

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posted Jan 23, 2007

To dominate sport is not a good thing, no matter it is China or USA - as we all want to see competitive games.

I am from China. In fact, at the moment every gold medal sparks a big debate in China: did we invest too much on athletes and as a result those ordinary people are not really benefiting?

I heard (but not very sure) that the gov. is considering whether to change its policy after the 2008 Olympic - from investing heavily on athletes to investing more on the public. It is encouraging. I think this move will be beneficial for both ordinary chinese people and sporting spirits, although in the short term we may see a fall in the number of medals.

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posted Jan 23, 2007

I can't make up my mind whether or not the govenemnt should be spending public money on sport in order to win medals. In a way I like the Australian way, where general public are fond of sport, it's how they spend their leisure time, and some of the outstanding one become the best in the world. Of course there are public fund involved in the later stage. I think it's more important to create a sport culture than creating a 'sport winning culture', as the former is good for general pubic's health and the latter doesn't.

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comment by David H (U2711529)

posted Jan 24, 2007

"Can't ever see them excelling at Basketball..."

Unfortunately this poor attempt at humour has made you look as ignorant as Jade Goody. You're not related are you?

Anyway, China finished 8th in the 2004 Olympics Basketball tournament. There also happens to be a certain Yao Ming who plays in the NBA which you are obviously not aware of.

I am not going to create a list of Chinese athletes that are 'blessed' with height in an attempt to convince anyone that China can compete at Basketball. However, although their average height may not be as much as Western nations, the sheer diversity in such a large country can easily compensate.

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comment by jerffz (U7212868)

posted Jan 24, 2007

Yeah, I think so, China will dominate sport soon.

China already has stars in almost all sporting areas, not to mention the medals they have won in Olympics. One thing being frequently criticised about China is its “Nationwide Sports System”. One advantage of this system is that the talented children, especially those from poor families, can be given a chance and be provided with the necessary facilities and training, which are not affordable to most Chinese families twenty years ago. There were no such things as donation or lottery funds (well, a very limited amount, maybe…) to promote mass sports in China. As China and its people are getting rich, things will change dramatically.

Ding, for example, is financially supported by his family being in heavy debts. Others like tennis stars Li Na, Zheng Jie / Yan Zi (Wimbledon 2006 Women’s double champion) were also supported by their own families at early stage before they were famous. Even now they still pay significant part of the coaching fees. None of them are from very wealthy families.

Given the population of China, and the fact that China is catching up in all other areas (economics, military…), there is no reason why China will not dominate sport.

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posted Feb 14, 2007

We have to admit China has the world's largest population and has the world's fastest growing economy. The significance of this is that as they are gaining more money, more facilities will be avaiable and it is a guarantee that Chna will rise. Look there are plenty of new stars rising in all sports. They are probably best atm at sports like ping pong and badmington, but they will grow in all ways. Ding isnt the only current decent Chinese player, look at Marco Fu and look what he achieved in the World Championships last year. Being part Chinese myself, I can see there is a very strong competitive side to the Chinese in general.

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posted Feb 15, 2007

Of course, we already are the superpower, not only in terms of sports, but in almost everything we do.

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posted Mar 8, 2007

ding junhui will be one of the best snooker players in the world in a few years. just look at the trophies that he has won

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comment by at10uk (U1648698)

posted Mar 15, 2007

Am I the only one who finds Ding completely void of character, emotion, or personality? I hope we don't get a load of Chinese like him dominating snooker. I'll be watching the darts if so.

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posted Mar 21, 2007

I think the argument that china.. because of the size of the popualtion and its fast growing economy, means it will dominate sport is inacurate. Look at India for example... it has over A billion people and currently has the fastest growing economy in the world... but they arent competitive in sports... bar cricket of course.

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