Although the Olympic Games are over a year away, a preview of what’s to come next summer has arrived in Shanghai this week. Shanghai is the host for this year’s Chinese National Gymnastics Championships, featuring some of China’s best and brightest gymnasts. China’s men’s team AND women’s team are the defending World Champions. The preliminary competitions finished up last weekend, with the team finals finishing today and tomorrow, and the individual competitions (all-around final and event finals) coming up later this week.
We were among the tens of people in the Shanghai International Gymnastics Center yesterday for the women’s preliminary competition. Despite being mistaken for a spy from USA Gymnastics (China’s main rival on the women’s side), we were overjoyed to get pictures with some of the favorites for the six coveted spots on the Chinese Olympic gymnastics team. It wasn’t all pleasant, however. Wang Yan (王燕), representing Zhejiang province, took a horrible fall off the uneven bars, which put Wang into a coma.
If any casual fans plan on attending the competition, be sure to look out for Yang Wei (杨威), Chen Yibing (陈一冰), Feng Jing (冯敬) and Feng Zhe (冯喆) on the men’s side. And on the women’s side, the ones to watch are Yang Lilin (杨伊琳), Xiao Sha (消莎), Li Shanshan (李珊珊) and Cheng Fei (程菲). In today’s action, Guangdong province won the men’s team title. It’s not too late to catch the women’s team final tomorrow at 10am and the individual competitions later this week.
Competition Schedule (in Chinese)
Tuesday, 6/12, Women’s Team Final, 10am
Wednesday, 6/13, Men’s All-Around, 11am
Thursday, 6/14, Women’s All-Around, 11am
Friday, 6/15, no competition
Saturday, 6/16, Men’s Floor Exercise and Pommel Horse, Women’s Floor Exercise and Vault, 6pm
Sunday, 6/17, Men’s Still Rings and Vault, Women’s Uneven Bars, 6pm
Monday, 6/18, Men’s Parallel Bars and High Bar, Women’s Balance Beam, 6pm
Chinese National Gymnastics Championships, at the Shanghai International Gymnastics Center, 777 Wuyi Road near Zhongshan Park, Tickets: 30 RMB per day. 上海国际体操中心,武夷路777号, 近中山公园.
The embedded video is of Cheng Fei’s outstanding Gold medal-winning vaults from the 2006 World Championships.