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Ethnic minorities share joy at games

2009-10-29 10:05 BJT

Special Report: 11th National Games |

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Athletes from ethnic minority groups and those from Hong Kong and Macao may not have had too much of the spotlight at the national games. But they still enjoyed the gathering as much as those from provinces stronger in sport.

Liu Lina from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is of Russian ethnicity. She has been horseriding for over 10 years and was the first Chinese to take part in an Olympic equestrian event. She made a breakthrough in the games by winning the gold medal in the individual dressage with a perfect performance. This was also Xinjiang's first gold medal at the games. She said she likes horse riding so much that seeing the horse makes her happy.

Tibet's sports developed late compared with other provinces. So they adopted a fast track strategy by sending their athletes to train outside Tibet. Chongji studied wrestling in Beijing. She said she was sent to the capital because there were higher quality opponents there. As a result, she finished 5th, the best result for Tibet in the wrestling.

Hong Kong's hockey players may have foreign faces, but they are true Hong Kongers. Although Hong Kong only has 7 standard hockey fields, more than 6 thousand people are fans of this sport. The region won 2 gold medals at the games, representing the aspirations of a sports-loving people.

The national games is a major stage for all athletes. Lee Chi-feng is the only athlete in the Macao's rowing team. Although he had to tend to everything himself, he was happy to have a chance to prove himself to a wider audience.