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The most exciting young Chinese athletes in search of glory in Hangzhou

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With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games just around the corner, the Asian Games represent a great opportunity for young athletes to make their mark on the international stage. Xinhua takes a look at some of Team China’s rising stars hoping to wow local fans in Hangzhou.

Zheng Qinwen (tennis)

As one of the most exciting young stars on the WTA circuit, Zheng, 20, upset last year’s runner-up Ons Jabeur at the US Open earlier this month to record her first victory over a top-10 player in a tournament. Grand Slam. The victory earned Zheng her first appearance in a major quarterfinal, where she was defeated by world No. 2 and eventual runner-up Aryna Sabalenka. In July, Zheng won her first WTA title at the Palermo Open in Italy. Known to fans as “Queen Wen,” she will try to add an Asian Games medal to her rapidly growing list of career milestones.

Ke Jie (go)

Go made its Asian Games debut as an official event at Guangzhou 2010, where China finished second in the sport’s medal standings, with three silvers behind South Korea’s three golds. Go returns for Hangzhou Asiad after his absence at Incheon 2014 and Jakarta 2018. Ke became the youngest Chinese Go player to win eight world championship titles in 2020. Originally from Zhejiang province, the 26-year-old will his Asian debut in both team and individual events.

Liu Qingyi (breaking up)

Ahead of its Olympic debut in Paris next year, break dancing, sometimes called break dancing, will also make a much-anticipated debut at the Hangzhou Asian Games. Liu, who bagged silver at the 2022 WDSF Breaking World Championships last October, continued his strong form with a commanding victory at the 2023 Breaking for Gold World Series, the sport’s first Olympic points event this year. The 17-year-old prodigy will aim for gold in Hangzhou, as the winners of the men’s and women’s events will each earn a direct ticket to Paris 2024.

Zhang Boheng (Gymnastics)

As one of the world’s top male gymnasts, Zhang will renew his rivalry with Olympic champion Daiki Hashimoto of Japan in Hangzhou. Zhang beat Hashimoto by 0.017 points to win the men’s all-around title at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships just three months after Hashimoto topped the podium at the Tokyo Olympics. Zhang lost a rematch at the artistic gymnastics world championships a year later, but took gold at the World University Games in Chengdu in August after Hashimoto was forced to withdraw due to injury. The duel between Zhang, 23, and Hashimoto, 22, promises to be among the most exciting competitions of the Hangzhou Games.

Huang Yuting (shot)

One of China’s strongest Olympic sports, China has never been short of young gunners who can combine with the best on the biggest stages, and Huang is surely one of them. He bagged two gold medals and one silver in his international debut at the 2022 ISSF World Championships in Egypt, earning multiple Paris Olympic berths for China. The 17-year-old, originally from Zhejiang, is seeking three gold medals in Hangzhou: the women’s 10-meter air rifle individual event, as well as the team and mixed team events.

Tian “Meiko” Ye (esports)

For those unfamiliar with the esports scene, the name “Meiko” probably means nothing. But for fans of the game League of Legends (LoL), it’s a nickname that elicits adoration. Meiko joined renowned Chinese club EDward Gaming (EDG) in 2015 as a reserve player, but quickly became a first-choice starter. After winning the 2021 LoL World Championship in Iceland, Meiko completed a Grand Slam of victories, which also includes the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational and Spring and Summer Split titles in China’s LoL Pro League with EDG. Meiko also triumphed at Jakarta 2018, when esports made its debut in Asia as a demonstration sport.

Yin Ruoning (Golf)

Yin became the world number one in women’s golf after finishing third at the LPGA Queen City Championship earlier this month, becoming the second player from mainland China to top the rankings after Feng Shanshan. The 20-year-old, who turned professional in 2020, claimed her first LPGA victory at the Los Angeles Open in April, before winning her first major title at the Women’s PGA Championship in New Jersey two months later . Yin, who won team bronze in Jakarta, will be coached by Feng at the Hangzhou Games.

Shi Haoyu (Artistic Swimming)

As the first and only male athlete of the Chinese artistic swimming team, Shi made his international debut at the age of 15 at the 2017 FINA Synchro World Series in China, where he won gold in the mixed free duet together with Sheng Shuwen. Despite having claimed multiple World Cup and World Series titles, Shi had to wait until this year to top the podium at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, where she won the team acrobatics and mixed free duet titles. . He also achieved a bronze in the mixed duet technical competition.

Wu Yanni (Athletics)

She initially caught the public’s attention with her photogenic looks and bright personality, but Wu has backed up her celebrity appeal with her skill on the court. After winning the women’s 100m hurdles title at the 2023 Chinese National Athletics Championships, she later took silver at the Chengdu World University Games with a personal best of 12.76 seconds to qualify for the Paris Olympics. . Wu began preparations for the Hangzhou Asian Games early, a sign of how determined she is to impress in front of the home fans.

Liang Weikeng, Wang Chang (badminton)

Just over a year after teaming up, the pair’s world ranking has skyrocketed from No. 424 to No. 2. Their victory in the men’s doubles final at the China Open earlier this month came 22 years after they the great Chinese Zhang Jun and Zhang Wei achieved the same. title at home. With a great race in Hangzhou, Liang and Wang could top the world rankings, as they are only 138 points behind the current leaders: Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia.


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