Qieyang Shijie becomes first Olympic gold medalist from China’s Tibetan ethnic minority group
Published: Mar 22, 2022 05:32 PM
Qieyang Shijie Photo: VCG

Qieyang Shijie Photo: VCG

 "Congratulations to you! You are now the 39th gold medalist of Team China at the London 2012 Olympic Games."

After 10 years of waiting, Chinese athlete Qieyang Shijie, 31, became China's first Olympic gold medalist from the Tibetan ethnic minority group on Monday after she accepted her gold medal for the women's 20K race walk event at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Twitter on Monday that Russian race walker Yelena Lashmanova has accepted the sanction proposed by the AIU for the use of prohibited substances and that she has been stripped of her gold medals for the women's 20K race walk event at the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

At London 2012, Qieyang Shijie, also known as Choeyang Kyi, originally won a bronze medal during the event. But after Russia's Olga Kaniskina was disqualified in March 2016 for doping, she was awarded the silver medal. And a later investigation into Lashmanova proved that the No.1 spot belonged to the Chinese race walker.

Another Russian athlete who ranked the fifth in the event was also disqualified in 2019, so three Chinese race walkers, Qieyang Shijie, Liu Hong and Lü Xiuzhi, have received their rightful gold, silver and bronze medals for the race, the China News Service reported.

Qieyang Shijie posted her feelings about the late gold medal on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Monday, saying she feels both happy and sad.

"Ten years later, I welcomed the gold medal in this way. I felt both happy and sad when I heard the news. I am happy because I can be the champion I am in my heart and I can have an Olympic gold medal, while I am also regretful as I did not experience what an Olympic gold medalist should have experienced," the race walker wrote.

Thanking netizens for their support, she added that the past is past and that she will continue working hard to get what she wants.

"You are our pride! The champion is late, but is not absent. Congratulations!" a Sina Weibo user commented in a post reflecting the sentiment of many Chinese netizens.