Sports\Team China

Wushu is wowing the world

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-21 07:44

Wushu, or traditional Chinese martial arts, is playing an increasingly important role in promoting Chinese culture abroad as well as enhancing sports and cultural exchanges.

Zhang Qiuping, director of Wushu Administrative Center under the State General Administration of Sport, said on Monday that wushu is attracting more and more overseas athletes, thanks to its dual elements of sport and culture.

"Wushu has a very long history in China and many foreign people study the splendid Chinese culture by practicing wushu," Zhang said at the BRICS Games in Guangzhou.

"In addition to the growing number of foreign athletes coming to China to practice wushu, Chinese coaches are welcomed in many countries and regions around the globe."

India's Anjul Namdeo, who won gold in the men's all-round changquan, jianshu and qiangshu at the Games, said more and more Indians are practicing the sport.

"Those who know wushu have more job opportunities ... especially to join the military in India," Namdeo said, adding that he wants to learn to speak Chinese in order to communicate with coaches and athletes at future competitions.

Brazil's Maximilian Jokiti Kobayashi said wushu has become an integral part of his health regimen.

"In addition to building up a good physique and improving my health, it has helped me learn more about Chinese culture and the Chinese language," said the 32-year-old, who sets aside two hours every day for training.

Kobayashi, who serves as Team Brazil's doctor, said wushu also inspired him to study sports medicine.

Ivan Krasnobaev, a silver medalist from Russia, agreed, saying: "The appeal of wushu is broad and deep. Many Russians are now practicing it for good health."

The performances of foreign athletes impressed their Chinese counterparts.

"I am surprised by their level of expertise," said Chen Guizhen, who won the women's taijijian. "Now Chinese athletes have to train even harder and do their utmost to defend the honor of our traditional event."

Sandra Konstantinova from Russia was the gold medalist in women's all-round changquan, daoshu and gunshu, while India's Gyandash Singh Mayanglambam won the men's all-round gold in taijiquan and taijijian.

Wushu is wowing the world

(China Daily 06/21/2017 page24)

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