China dominates again
Updated: 2012-09-11 08:07
By Xinhua in London (China Daily)
It was Beijing 2008 all over again.
China made history the past two weeks at the 2012 Paralympic Games with a medal haul of 95 gold, 71 silver and 65 bronze medals, boasting a 59-gold margin over second-place Russia's 36-38-28.
China, which topped the tally in Beijing with 89-70-52, bettered its own records in all three medal categories. China made its Paralympic debut in New York 1984 with two titles, and first topped the table in Athens 2004 with 63-46-32.
China dominated in track and field, bringing home 33 gold medals.
Swimming contributed 24 gold, followed by table tennis with 14, wheelchair fencing with six, cycling track with five, shooting with four, and powerlifting with three.
Seven of China's eight track cyclists found their way to the podium.
"We did not expect such a good result," said coach Li Peng. "In Athens 2004, we got only one gold. In Beijing 2008, we were empty-handed.
"Here, we took five golds, the same as the event's traditional powerhouse and host Britain. Our cyclists made a history."
The first gold medal of the Games went to Chinese sharpshooter Zhang Cuiping who also broke the 10-year-old women's R2-10m air rifle world record with nine shots out of the final 10 above 10.3 points.
The record-breaking 90th gold for China was clinched by Xue Lei in the men's 100m-T11 final.
China also claimed its 300th gold medal in Paralympic history when amputee Zhao Xu won the men's 100m-T46 final on Sept 6.
"The win is a breakthrough because China had never won a medal in this event before," Zhao said after the race.
In 2008, China dispatched 332 athletes to compete in all 20 sports. China sent 282 athletes to London to compete in 15 of 21 sports.
Wang Xinxian, Chef de Mission of the Chinese Paralympic delegation, said the delegation's dominance was made possible by the government's commitment to providing top-notch training for Paralympians.
"In the past five years, the Chinese government helped about 10 million people with disabilities lead a better life - about two thirds of the people with disabilities get stable jobs," Wang said. "Second, the scientific and hard training made the Chinese para-athletes stronger and most of them were very confident in top-level competitions."
(China Daily 09/11/2012 page22)