The Sixth Chinese City Games, the last multi-sport event in China before the 2008 Olympics, concluded here on Saturday after ten-day competitions inthe capital city of central China's Hubei Province.
The closing ceremony is a grand gathering of the City Games family members and local spectators at the scenic Hankou Beach Park off the shore of the Yangtze River, China's longest river.
With 279 days away from the Beijing Olympic Games, the City Games is regarded as an important rehearsal of the Olympics.
The Games, geared for young athletes, attracted 6,300 competitors from 74 delegations across the nation contending in 288 events of 24 sports, most of which are among the Olympics program such as soccer, basketball, table tennis, tennis, archery, track and field, swimming, diving, judo, kayak, shooting, weightlifting and wrestling.
It turned out productive results from the Games. One world record was bettered in shooting and another was equaled by two athletes in weightlifting. Two junior world records were broken by one athlete and four national records were beaten.
Olympic shooting champion Zhu Qinan and weightlifter Liao Hui came upon the spotlight. Zhu improved the world record of men's 10 meters rifle by 0.6 points in 703.7 and 20-year-old Liao exceeded two junior world records in the men's 69kg category.
Weightlifters Li Lizhi and Tao Jin both clinched 286kg overall in men's 56kg division, three kilograms more than the winning result by DPR Korean Cha Kum-chol at the world championships on September in Chiang Mai of Thailand.
The Games witnessed a bunch of potential stars in other programs like swimming, archery, table tennis and judo.
Several innovative measures were put forward during this Games which have widely won praise, such as canceling overall medal standings and limiting the prize for medallists and coaches in order to avoid pushing athletes too hard.
To ensure clean and fair Games, the Organizing Committee attached great importance to doping control by launching extensive drug tests.
According to Liu Peng, director of the State General Administration of Sports (SGAS), 1,239 out-of-competition tests have been conducted through the Games, 10 percent up over the last edition.
An supervision system on athletes' whereabouts was established for the first time all through the Games. The local food and drug administration, together with the SGAS, had also strictly inspected the pharmacy market to keep the performance-enhancing substances away from the market.
"The Games Organizing Committee deserves our warm congratulations for their untiring efforts to make the Games a great success on aspects like stadium construction, sports organization, sports discipline, reception and cultural activities," said Liu on Saturday.
"It is not only a great sports event but a festival of common people."
The Games, however, have been tainted by two doping cases. A cyclist from Yinchuan, a city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in Northwest China, and a Wushu athlete from Shijiazhuang, a city of Hebei Province, tested positive.
The Organizing Committee carried out a campaign of promoting anti-doping knowledge among youngsters. It's the first time for an anti-doping exhibition held at City Games, which took in over 2,000 players and coaches.
"We will cancel all results of the two athletes in this Games and severely punish the relative officials," claimed Jiang Zhixue, Chair of Science and Education Department of SGAS.
The host city aims to make full use of the Games to promote sports activity in communities. Most of competitions opened to the public for free. Over two billion yuan (some 248.4 million US dollars) has been invested for building or refurbishing 74 stadiums and sports facilities over the last four years.
These facilities will function as the fitness and entertainment centers for locals in long run.
The City Games is regarded as a platform for young athletes to gain experiences. It's also an opportunity for sports administrators to seek talented athletes and put up the backing forces for China.
It is the first time for a city to host the quadrennial Games inaugurated in 1988, as the past five editions were all run by provinces.
The seventh City Games will be held in Nanchang, capital city of Central China's Jiangxi Province in 2011.