Chinese athletes aim for medals in four new Olympic events in Tokyo
Published: Jul 19, 2021 07:28 PM
Competitors take part in a karate competition in Tokyo on August 22 to select the representatives for the world champions. Photo: CFP

Competitors take part in a karate competition in Tokyo on August 22 to select the representatives for the world champions. Photo: CFP

In 2016 it was announced that four sports will make their Olympic debut in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, including skateboarding, rock climbing, surfing and karate. China will send athletes to participate in three of these events with the hope of winning medals.

Karate is a traditional sport that is very popular in Japan, while the other sports are popular among young people.

"With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them," said the International Olympics Committee (IOC) President Bach said after the vote.

Of the four events, three will feature Chinese athletes except surfing. Many of them have hopes of winning medals.

China's two female players Zhang Xin and Zeng Wenhui will represent China in skateboarding. Zhang won the bronze medal in the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018. China's rock-climbing team features two young athletes Pan Yufei and Song Yiling.

In surfing, there is still a gap for Chinese athletes compared to the international high-level players. "Yet we have been working hard in the past few years, and the athletes have made remarkable progress," Zhang Min, Deputy Director of Aquatic Sports Management Center of the General Administration of Sports, said during an interview with the Xinhua News Agency. 

China's 28-year-old karate athlete Yin Xiaoyan is regarded as a gold medal contender. Yin won the Asian Games in Jakarta and was ranked first in the women's lower 61kg class in Olympic points.

"I'm looking forward to the Olympics because it's the first time in my life and probably the only time," Yin said. "I hope to be on the top podium. I really do." 

Industry insiders have called for China to enhance competiveness in the new Olympic events. "On the one hand, we should do a good job of venues, popularization and policy support, on the other hand, we should also encourage domestic judges to actively strive for international referee qualifications, to improve the overall level of China in these new events," said Zeng Bingfeng, a project director from China Roller Skating Association. 

In addition to the five major events, this year's Tokyo Olympics has added mixed team events in judo, archery and shooting, as well as new events in boxing, cycling and swimming.

The popular breakdancing event will debut on the Olympic stage at the 2024 Paris Olympics. By the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, more new events will be added.

"That's the beauty of it [the Olympics]. Yes it grows, but at the same time it reflects the development of sport," said the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi.

Global Times