Chinese competitors at the fifth Open European Mahjong Championship held in Strasbourg, France did not return victorious, West China Metropolis Daily reports, as the highest ranking position among the Chinese competitors was an embarrassing 30th place.
Ten Chinese players participated in the contest with player Yan Wenying taking 30th place overall in the competition, the highest ranking among Chinese. His team Guohua came in 37th in the team competition.
Adding further insult to injury, the individual title was claimed by a Japanese competitor. The runner-up was a player from Germany, and the other top three positions were won by Japan as well.
The results of the match naturally didn’t fly over well with netizens, who compared the outcome to that of the semi-final of the World Cup when Brazil lost 1-7 to Germany. Online users seemed to agree that competitors didn’t represent a common Chinese person’s ability to play mahjong, which has history in China dating back some 2,500 years. One user added that the best players of mahjong are among common people who don’t even know such a competition exists.
Yao Xiaolei, assistant secretary-general of the World Mahjong Organization, told reporters that while the results of the Chinese players in the competition were lackluster, it shows that Chinese mahjong is gaining traction in Europe and around the world. So yay.
Mahjong was certified as a sport in 1998 by the General Administration of Sport of China at the urging of Japan and unified Chinese rules were codified for international competitions.
It’s high time China starts selecting competitors from a more well-trained recruitment pool. Um, like this one in Foshan.