Chinese athletes have cast off the shadow of star hurdler Liu Xiang’s retirement to restate the country’s challenge to world powers in track and field.
China saw breakthrough performances at the World Athletics Championships, which ended in Beijing on Sunday evening, scooping nine medals including one gold, seven silvers and one bronze.
The sad memory of Liu withdrawing from the 110-meter hurdles final at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was erased in the Bird’s Nest stadium on Saturday when China took the silver medal in the men’s 4x100m relay.
“We are excited to see more-balanced progress achieved by China at the World Championships, showcased by podium finishes in all four disciplines of walking, running and jumping as well as throwing, for the first time in the history of Chinese athletics,” said Du Zhaocai.
The International Association of Athletics Federations council member and director of the Chinese Athletics Association, made the comments at a news conference on Sunday.
Motivated by boisterous home crowds, Chinese athletes ended the championships with one gold medal, seven silver and one bronze to finish 11th in the medal table.
Just before the championships ended on Sunday evening, Chinese high jumper Zhang Guowei won a silver by clearing 2.33 meters, while female javelin thrower Lyu Huihui won a silver with 66.13 meters.
Led by 26-year-old Su Bingtian, the men’s team initially finished third in the 4x100m relay final but was upgraded to second place after the United States was disqualified for a false exchange.