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Athletes from PRC make first podium trips in multiple sports


08-22-2016 10:58 BJT

Full coverage: 2016 Rio Olympics

The Rio Olympics, like many that came before, were highlighted by athletes and teams winning medals in events where they had not previously enjoyed success.

Leading the way in this category was China, as a number of competitors made the country's maiden trips to the podium in multiple disciplines, while also grabbing headlines in the process.

China’s wheeled warriors got plenty of attention at Rio's velodrome, and not just for their colorful helmets.

Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi claimed the country's first-ever gold medal in track cycling, as they won the women’s team sprint.

A Chinese martial artist broke through in taekwondo, as 58-kilogram competitor Zhao Shuai became the nation's first male titlist in that sport.

The success on the mats continued with Cheng Xunzhao claiming the PRC's first medal in men's judo, nabbing bronze in the 90-kilogram division, and beating three of the top contenders along the way.

Dong Bin leaped his way into the record books by becoming China's first athlete to reach the podium in the triple jump.

His bronze was just the second medal for a male Chinese competitor in any field event. Making his placement even more remarkable -- he injured himself on his first effort, and was unable to take his next two attempts.

Yin Junhua narrowly missed becoming the PRC’s first gold medalist in women’s boxing, settling for silver after falling in the championship bout of the women’s lightweight division.

Golf returned to the Olympics after more than 100 years, and China's Feng Shanshan made the occasion memorable, by earning bronze in the women’s tournament.

Hua Tian, also known as Alex Hua, had become the first-ever Chinese equestrian rider at the 2008 Beijing Games, and would hit another milestone in Rio by finishing in eighth place in the eventing final.

And then there were the heart-warming moments that made international headlines.

Upon snagging silver on the women’s 3-meter springboard, He Zi would be asked to take a different plunge … as boyfriend and fellow diver Qin Kai proposed to her right after she accepted her medal.

Luckily for him, she said yes!

And 100-meter backstroke bronze medalist Fu Yuanhui's unique personality and candid interviews combined with her swimming talent to make her an internet sensation … winning the hearts of many around the world.

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