Tokyo 2020: Chinese Paralympic swimming star finds new challenge in triathlon
Wang Jiachao was born in a remote village in the tropical Chinese province of Yunnan. When he was five, he lost his left arm at the shoulder in an accidental electrocution. Now 27, he is a bonafide star — having won one gold, four silvers and one bronze medal in swimming in three Paralympic Games. Having retired from swimming, he got a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and reinvented himself as a professional triathlete. Now Wang is preparing to fulfill his dream of another Paralympic gold at Tokyo 2020. “I was chosen,” he said of how he became a professional athlete. “One day, county officials came to our village to issue disability certificates. They saw me and said I should go to Kunming t
Tokyo 2020: Chinese Paralympic swimming star finds new challenge in triathlon
China vows to foster soccer talent in toddlers
China is taking soccer into 3,000 kindergartens this year as part of efforts to dominate the sport by 2050.  The Ministry of Education said this week that kindergartens will be selected to foster the country’s future soccer talents.  Two hundred kindergarten heads and 200 teachers are being trained this month by staff from England's Football Association as the first batch of specialists for the program, the ministry said. Since 2015, China has nominated more than 24,000 “football-featured schools” as part of its ambitions to become a soccer superpower. The program is now expanding the scheme to younger children.  Soccer is one of China’s most beloved sports, but despite its popularity and ma
China vows to foster soccer talent in toddlers
Can China win the World Cup with a handful of naturalized players?
As China targets a place at the 2022 World Cup, London-born Nico Yennaris recently became the first foreign player to join the men’s national soccer team as a naturalized citizen. On his identity card he is listed as Han, the main ethnic group in China. Several foreign soccer players and other sportspeople have become Chinese citizens in recent years, many of them drawn by the huge financial rewards on offer. Naturalization has a long history in many countries, but it is a new concept in China. President Xi Jinping’s passion for the game and ambitions for China to host and maybe one day win the World Cup is public knowledge. John Hou Saeter, who was born to a Norwegian father and Chinese mot
Can China win the World Cup with a handful of naturalized players?
A look inside China’s sports shoe capital
Over four decades, Jinjiang in China’s southeastern province of Fujian transformed into a sportswear-production powerhouse, specializing in shoes. Today, the companies based in China's "shoe capital" are aiming big, hoping to expand beyond the domestic market. The South China Morning Post traveled to Jinjiang to find out how local brands are becoming big names in China, poised to take on industry leaders like Nike and Adidas.
A look inside China’s sports shoe capital
China’s Magic Johnson, the ‘worst-ever NBA champ’
Jeremy Lin is the first Asian-American winner of the NBA. But he’s not the first player of Chinese heritage to do so. Sun Yue wasn’t the first either. That honor belongs to Mengke Bateer of the San Antonio Spurs, who rode the bench all the way to his ring in 2003. But this is the winding, bizarre story of how Sun, the “Chinese Magic Johnson,” won a ring in 2009 with Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers without playing a minute. His tale starts in 2007, when Sun entered the draft – something that almost didn’t happen, according to his former agent Keith Glass. His club, Beijing Aoshen, insisted that the 6 foot 9 inch point guard had to be picked in the first round, or not at all. In his book Sev
China’s Magic Johnson, the ‘worst-ever NBA champ’
How Muay Thai is helping Parkinson’s patients stand up to the disease
A Hong Kong gym is taking a unique approach to fighting Parkinson's syndrome, with Muay Thai kickboxing. The KF1 gym in Mongkok runs classes for people with Parkinson's in order to help them deal with the disease, strengthen their body, and socialize. Michael Leung wasn’t sure what to make of the offer he was given to take part in today’s Muay Thai training session. Aged 49, he has spent the past 12 months coming to terms with being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His body is still adapting to the doses of medicine he now needs to take daily, as well as the after-effects, while his mind is focusing on the fight ahead. But after some urging from friends, Leung decided to see what this anc
How Muay Thai is helping Parkinson’s patients stand up to the disease
American teen skier to compete in Winter Olympics as Chinese citizen
An American skier has decided to compete for China in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, prompting a wave of cheering on Chinese social media. Eileen Gu, 15, changed her national affiliation from American to Chinese this month, according to the International Ski Federation. While the Olympics allow athletes with dual citizenship to choose which country to represent, Gu is required by Chinese law not to keep her American nationality because China doesn’t recognize dual nationality. “I feel that I am competing in skiing to unite two nations, both of which are my home,” Gu told Inkstone through Instagram on Friday. “I hope to break the divide between nations through passion and love.” She sai
American teen skier to compete in Winter Olympics as Chinese citizen
‘China’s Hawaii’ bets on horse racing for tourism boom
Once banned by the Communist Party as a decadent capitalist pursuit, horse racing could soon become a moneymaker for China’s Hawaii. The Chinese government has just announced that it will encourage horse racing and explore various sports lotteries in the southern island of Hainan. The goal is to boost domestic tourism spending in the beach resort, which will be built into a free-trade zone by 2025, according to an official development plan released on Friday. Horse racing has a long history in China: from a pastime of Chinese elites to a popular diversion for the colonial occupants of Hong Kong. After coming to power in 1949, the Communist Party banned horse racing as part of a crackdown on
‘China’s Hawaii’ bets on horse racing for tourism boom
Costumes of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
Hong Kong’s three-day Rugby Sevens tournament drew to a close on Sunday evening, with Fiji beating Kenya 24-12 to mark a record fourth straight win – their 18th overall in the 43-year history of the tournament. “The Hong Kong Sevens is like the World Cup in Fiji and four years in a row is like winning the World Cup,” Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai told the South China Morning Post. The seven-a-side game is a fast, running-dominated version of the sport, and matches last just 14 minutes. But the rugby is only half of the reason to head to Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth Stadium. The other reason is the stadium’s South Stand – a raucous congregation of expatriates, locals and tourists who show up in ful
Costumes of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
Cover up! Chinese soccer players are facing a tattoo ban
Soccer players on China’s national team were seen concealing their tattoos with bandages during matches last week, amid news about a forthcoming ban. The sport’s governing body in China, the Chinese Football Association, will issue guidelines on tattoos to football clubs in order to promote a “healthy culture,” according to media reports. Soccer players will not be allowed to participate in matches if they don’t cover up their ink. Foreign players will be exempt from the restriction. News of the tattoo ban has sparked heated debate on social media among football fans, with some supporting the idea. “In Chinese culture, tattoos are symbols of triads, which are not tolerated by mainstream soc
Cover up! Chinese soccer players are facing a tattoo ban