Beijing Olympics to showcase Wushu in optimal way

Wushu, the world famous Chinese martial arts, will be featured at the Beijing Olympic Games in an optimal way, a sports official of China said here Wednesday.

"Wushu will definitely be a special part of the 2008 Olympics," said Chen Guorong, deputy director of the martial arts administration center of China, at the conclusion of the 2007 National Women's Wushu Sanshou Championship here.

But Chen did not give the details of the optimal way. "It is up to the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games to unveil it at a proper time," he added.

Although Denis Oswald, a member of the IOC Executive Board, recently expressed his concern that Wushu is not popular enough to become an Olympic program as people in most countries of the world do not practice on it, Chen believes Wushu has become more and more influential around the world.

"Since the establishment of the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) in 1991 (in Beijing), altogether 114 associations of martial arts from five continents have joined in. You can say that IWUF is qualified as a large-scale international sports organization," said Chen.

According to Chen, China began to promote Wushu in 1982, and successfully held the first International Wushu Invitation Tournament in 1985 (in Xi'an). Since then Wushu has sprouted in many countries and regions. Until now eight World Wushu Championships and three Sanshou World Cups have been held.

"Wushu develops rapidly, especially in Asia," said Chen, "It was admitted as official program by the Asian Games in 1990, and gradually earned its admission by the East Asian Games, the Southeast Asian Games and the South Asian Games. Meanwhile, Wushu championships have been held in Europe and pan-American countries, and Wushu is expected to enter the All-Africa Games soon."

As for the competitions, Chen said:"China used to be dominant in the field, but now things have changed greatly. For Taolu, China's Hongkong, China's Macao, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Vietnam have become our arch rivals now; For Sanshou, Russia, France, Italy, Iran and the Philippines have become quite competitive. In certain heavy-weight categories, players from Europe even bear more potentials for further development than we do."

For the next 10 years, Chen pointed out that IWUF will help some other associations in contest organizing and marketing operation.

Source: Xinhua

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