LIFE / CULTURE
Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian wins applause worldwide after making history at Tokyo Olympic Games
Published: Aug 02, 2021 06:00 PM
Su Bingtian of China celebrates after the men's 60 metres final during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, Britain on March 3, 2018. Su took the silver with 6.42 seconds. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Su Bingtian of China celebrates after the men's 60 metres final during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, Britain on March 3, 2018. Su took the silver with 6.42 seconds. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

In the men's 100 meters on Sunday, Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian impressed sport fans with his record-breaking semifinal finish. The first Asian man after 89 years to run in the Olympic event's finals, Su didn't just earn praise from Chinese netizens, but also received applause worldwide even though he finished sixth. 

During the semifinals just a couple of hours before the finals, this Chinese athlete representing the entire Asian community finished the 100 meters in 9.83 seconds, the fastest time for an Asian man, earning him the qualifications to move on to the finals, which he ran in 9. 98 seconds. 

While Su has not taken home any Olympic medals, his groundbreaking performance has been praised by netizens in countries such as the US, Japan and South Korea. 

On Twitter, US broadcaster NBC's Olympic account commented on Su's semifinal performance with "WHAT A FINISH." 

"I'm shocked a Chinese could run that fast. Truly phenomenal! I didn't think they were that good at sprints," said netizen "Claudieseyes" on Twitter. 

The comment section for videos of Su's competition on YouTube were also full of positive comments, with the sprinter's success seeming to particularly touch Asian netizens, who said Su "represented Asian speed" or called him an "Asian hero." 

"Great job! He is [an] Asian hero. Congratulations from Japan," posted a netizen on YouTube. 

"Seeing him win at this particular event made my blood flood into my head. At that moment, it didn't matter whether or not he is Chinese or I'm South Korean, because we are all part of the Asian community. Sports bond us together to prove we can! He did it for us, us Asians," Jihoon, a sports fan from South Korea, told the Global Times on Monday. 

After the competition, Su was seen proudly covering himself with China's national flag. Chinese netizens flooded China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo to congratulate the athlete and expressed their love for him by calling him "Su god." 

At a particularly touching moment, former athlete Liu Xiang, China's first 110 meter hurdler to become a "triple crown" winner in his field, showed strong support for Su on Sina Weibo. 

"Godlike! 9.83!!" posted Liu after Su's semifinal, adding in the comments, "Please everyone lend him some luck for the finals." 

Liu's post got nearly 60,000 comments, among which netizens called them both the "pride of China." 

"You were also godlike. 'Who said the yellow race could never make it into the first eight?' That's what you said. We believe in you too," posted a netizen on Sina Weibo, referring to Liu's historic performance at the Olympic Games in 2004. 

In addition to Su, Chinese female runner Wang Chunyu also made Chinese proud on Saturday by becoming the first Chinese woman to ever enter the final round of the women's 800 meters. 


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