Published On: Sat, Aug 4th, 2012

Don’t reject state-run sports says Chinese daily

A state-run Chinese daily has objected to the “total repudiation of the state-run sports system” for its “gold medal first” strategy that has evoked increasing criticism of late.

It, however, admitted that people now sometimes get tired of seeing Chinese athletes take all the gold medals in certain sports.

An editorial in the Global Times Saturday said that with the competition at the London Olympic Games becoming tenser, China has witnessed increasing criticism of its “gold medal first” strategy.

“The voices of condemnation could be heard as athletes from the Chinese national team were awarded gold medals, and even more loudly at the moment when the Chinese badminton players were punished. A lot of the criticism was directed towards the Olympic gold medal ‘creator’ – China’s state-run sports system,” it said.

The daily said these reflections on the state-run sports system have surfaced at every Olympic Games.

With eight days yet to go for the London Games to end, China has till now won 20 gold medals, 14 silver and nine bronze medals. The Games began July 27.

“The state-run sports system was formed and promoted along with Chinese participation in the Olympic Games. Many modern Chinese may have forgotten how China yearned for more gold medals when the Table Tennis World Championships were China’s only hopes of gaining national pride from sport.”

“The state-run sports system has taken China from no medals to the top of the tally, quenching the thirst of many Chinese for national pride,” the editorial said.

Stressing that after the Beijing Olympic Games, China “no longer needed medals for self-confidence”, it said that in contrast, “people now sometimes get tired of seeing Chinese athletes take all the gold medals in certain sports”.

It went on to say that in the state-run sports system, the country’s sporting resources are concentrated on a few of the most talented who aim to become world champions.

“In this regard, competitive sports have become an exam-oriented system. Although there are some limitations in the system, it has been effective for games like the Olympic Games. This is why it can’t be discarded entirely,” the daily explained.

“Neither the opposition to the ‘gold medal first’ practice, or the criticism of the state-run sports system is totally wrong… China needs reforms, but a total repudiation of the state-run sports system, or calling it a representation of the shortcomings of Chinese politics, would both be false, and fall far short of objectivity,” it added.

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