Sprinter Tang Xingqiang wins Men's 200m gold, defeats record holder Xie Zhenye
Published: Sep 23, 2021 06:23 PM
 Athlete Tang Xingqiang Photo: Sina Weibo

Athlete Tang Xingqiang Photo: Sina Weibo

The 14th National Games' Men's 200 meters final was held in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on Wednesday. Athlete Tang Xingqiang, considered by many a "dark horse" for the event, defeated Xie Zhenye, still the event's record holder, from the Zhejiang team before crossing the finish line and winning gold. 

The final on Wednesday night kicked off with a good showing by Xie, who took only 0.158 seconds to react after the starter's pistol fired. With his veteran sprinting and cornering skills, Xie performed steadily in the first half of the competition and it looked like he was a lock to win as there was a noticeable distance between him and Tang. 

Things changes however during the last 20 meters as Tang used a final burst of strength to reduce the gap between himself and Xie, who looked a little bit caught off guard as his competitor pulled up next to him. 

Tang, a true "final sprinter," passed Xie to win the gold medal at 20.39 seconds, a personal best for him. In the end, Xie brought home the silver while sprinter Sheng Chao won the bronze.  

The competition between the two prominent sprinters excited sports fans, many of whom described it as a "dramatic" turnaround because they never imagined that the 26-year-old "dark horse" could beat the veteran.

"I thought it was maybe he [Xie] was putting on a show because at the previous National Games he always took first place... But, I give truly applaud Tang, even though I'm a Xie fan. He was so in the competition mode, I have to say," Wang Simiao, a marathon runner, told the Global Times. 

Tang, who is on the Fujian team, also expressed that he never imagined that he'd win the event. 

Despite Xie's loss, netizens still rallied for the athlete, saying that it cannot define the athlete's strong capability. 

"You just can't deny that he [Xie] is still the most competitive one at this event. His Waterloo, this time, was caused by complex facts such as an injury and tiredness caused by two major events [the Tokyo Olympics Games and the National Games] in such a short time," Sun Yangming, a track and field fan, told the Global Times.    

After the competition, Xie told media that he has not been feeling at his best in 2021 and that the result of the event was predictable. 

"Every generation is better than the last generation; this is the development trend of China's track and field. I believe we will continue to improve," Xie noted. 

Before competing at the National Games, the two sprinters along with China's history-making athlete Su Bingtian and another prominent runner Wu Zhiqiang competed at the Tokyo Olympic Games as a team in the Men's 4x100m relay final, in which Tang took the first shift. 

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