With the 2012 London Olympics drawing near, us here at Audrey want to share with you a few of the athletes you all should keep an eye on!
China has been known to produce some outstanding athletes, and some members of this year’s Chinese team are no exception.
Sport: Track & Field – 110 m hurdles
With a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles from the 2004 Athens games and undoubtedly a star in his native China, Xiang comes to London as a top contender in this fast-paced event, which is a test of stamina and agility. He is a world record holder and world champion, with a notable win at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix this past May. The 6-foot-two Xiang is hoping to redeem himself from his unfortunate false start and injury during the 2008 Beijing games. Fully recovered, ready to go, hopes are high for Liu Xiang this upcoming July.
Sport: Platform Diving
Internationally ranked as number one diver in platform diving, 19-year old Qiu Bo is a heavy favorite for gold metal success at the London games, particularly in the 10m platform diving event. Named by FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) as the 2011 Male Diver of the Year, Qiu Bo’s outstanding ability in his sport was reflected in the his outstanding ability was reflected in the 25 perfect-10s he received as scores during the 2011 FINA Diving World Series in Beijing. Also winning gold in the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in both the 10-m platform and 10-m platform synchronized with his partner Huo Liang, Qiu Bo’s accomplishments have framed him as a top contender for gold this July.
‘PRETTY BABY’ YANG SHU-CHUN
Sport: Taekwondo [under -49kg]
Given the nickname “Pretty Baby” by the Chinese media, Yang Shu-Chun is much more than a pretty face. At 27 years old, she has been an athlete in taekwondo for 20 years, she has been in the sport for most of her life, and this year’s Olympic Games is her last chance to bag the top prize. Though banned from international competition in 2010 for a disqualification controversy, 2012 has proven to be a year of success for the soon-to-be coach. She has won a total of four medals this past year, including three gold and one silver at various international championships and competitions. As she moves to London, Yang Shu-Chun hopes to add Olympic gold to this growing, prestigious collection.
A top-paid endorsement model for major, international companies like Nike and Visa, Li Na earned these deals with her excellent performance on the tennis court. The 30-year old Li Na is ranked 3rd in China and 11th internationally. In 2011, became the first Asian-born tennis player to win a singles Grand Slam tournament. In the 2008 Beijing games, Li Na barely missed the medal stand, and it will be exciting to see if Li Na can translate her undoubted skill to Olympic gold.
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