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Chinese National Games closes as host Shandong tops medal table

2009-10-28 21:46 BJT

Special Report: 11th National Games |

By sportswriter Wang Jimin

JINAN, East China, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The 11th Chinese National Games came to a successful close on Wednesday after 13 days of fierce competition with the host Shandong topping the medals table.

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao officially closed the Games amid a frugal ceremony held in the newly-built Olympic Sports Complex.

The final overall medals table reads Shandong on 63 golds, followed by the Chinese Army on 49 and Jiangsu on 48.5.

The Games, billed as China's mini-Olympics, was a true sports extravaganza as five world records, along with 16 Asian records and39 national records were broken.

"The athletes put on a great show by creating a set of records and many hopefuls came of age at the Games," said Liu Peng, director of the State General Administration of Sports (SGAS) and president of the Games' organizing committee.

The weightlifters stole the limelight at the prestigious competition with seven strongwomen bettering ten world records in four divisions and two strongmen breaking two world records in two categories.

The swimmers also made splashes in the pool as one world record and 11 Asian records had been written by them.

China's Olympic champion Liu Zige once again made the headline, setting the new world record in the 200m butterfly final in 2:01.81,and knocking over two seconds off previous world best set by Australian Jessica Schipper at the Rome World Championships.

In the less competitive track and field, pin-up hurdler Liu Xiang produced an impressive comeback to win a third straight title at the Games.

Though Liu's winning result of 13.34 seconds was far off his former world record and personal best of 12.88, his second race after his shock withdrawal from the Beijing Olympics pushed the National Games to its climax.

Li Yanxi of Hebei jumped a distance of 17.59 meters, breaking triple jump Asian record of 17.35 and also refreshed the oldest Chinese track and field national record set in 1981.

However, the biggest-ever National Games, which was participated by 10,991 athletes from 46 delegations, was marred by three doping scandals although the Chinese sports governing body has vowed a serious clampdown on doping cheats.

Xiao Tian, vice director of SGAS, called for better sportsmanship and fairer competition, yet acknowledged that to improve the sportsmanship and fight against doping were an "arduous" task.

The Games, with the theme of "Harmonious China and People's Games", featured 33 sports consisting of all 28 sports in summer Olympics, four winter sports and Wushu as well.

The National Games, which was inaugurated 50 years ago and usually held every four years, are the country's top national-level sports event.

The next National Games will be held in northeast China's Liaoning province.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua