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Wushu fighter claims first gold of the games for China
Posted on Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm
by IDMA Editor

China snared the first gold of Guangzhou's Asian Games in the men's Wushu on Saturday, a traditional martial arts discipline in which the hosts are once again expected to dominate.

On the first day of competition in the southern city, China began their bid to eclipse their 2006 Asian Games medal total, when they led rivals Japan and South Korea with 165 golds, by claiming the first of what could be 15 golds in the native sport.

Bruce Lee fan and two-time world champion Yuan Xiaochao defended his gold medal from Doha with an acrobatic routine in the Changquan or "long fist" discipline.

In an early morning performance in a less than half-full gymnasium, the 22-year-old kicked and punched his way to a score of 9.78, ahead of silver medallist Daisuke Ichikizaki of Japan.

Iran's Ehsan Peyghambari claimed the bronze with 9.70 points. Yuan whose ambition is to be cast in a Kung Fu movie like his cinematic heroes Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, nailed his routine in the core northern Chinese Changquan discipline with spin kicks and somersaults along with primal moves imitating wild animals.

In the women's Nandao competition, competitors whirled short swords to tigerish snarls, roars and pounces.

"There is a saying that the lessons you learn stay with you forever," Yuan said. "I can be better and I can improve my technique," added Yuan, reportedly born to famous martial art family in eastern China.

Since 1990 when Wushu first appeared at the Asian Games, China have won the lion's share of 43 medals including 34 golds.

Despite China's hopes of recording a bumper medal count, the Wushu team generously surrendered the field in several of the categories.

"We only take part in 10 Wushu events in the Asian Games in 2010, so other countries can have a chance," team manager Gao Xiaojun said earlier in the week.

Other Wushu styles include taiji boxing, the sparring form of Sanshou and Taolu, combining martial arts and kickboxing moves and the occasional use of long and short weapons.



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