Monday, September 03, 2007

Osaka Recap: China Watch

I start looking forward to Beijing I noticed something did not add up.
Last December, I blogged about 17 year-old Xue Fei of China who had put on an impressive display at the Asian Games. I found it curios that Xue Fie was not in Osaka. Add to that the absence of reigning 10000M Olympic Champion Xing Huina. In fact, China did not enter a Women’s 5000M or 10000M squad. The Authorities claim that Xing Huina is injured. But that does not prevent them from entering other athletes.

China is historically competitive the Women’s 5000M and 10000M. The world championship is an important step in any Track and Field athlete’s preparation for the Olympics. So why in the world would China decide no to enter a single athlete in the 5000M and 10000M? Not entering a squad in the World Championship’s almost always is the result of country not having athletes that can compete in that event or not having the budget. In this case we know China has the budget and the athletes. Not having experienced athletes is like conceding the Olympics. As a strategy, this defies logic.

Last December I quoted an article that basically said that Chinese officials declared themselves dissatisfied despite winning 316 medals at the Asian games. China finished second to the USA at the Olympics in 2004 but has set its sights on finishing first at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The article says that officials are under intense pressure to deliver after a massive financial and personnel investment from the Chinese government.

To meet such lofty goals China needs to medal in every event it can. So how can such goals be met while conceding the Women’s 5000M and 10000M? Clearly Chiana will not concede these event. Will China spring a surprise like the one in 1993 when Junxia Wang who appeared from no where to set a world record that has been untouchable? Just keep your eye open.

1 comment:

yekolotemari said...

ALl those records from 93 are drug induced. 1500,3000,5000,10000.
It is not one but so many of them running some crazy times. They have not managed to even come close after that.