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Asian champion Wu shines at Wushu Championships
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08:38, November 15, 2007

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Wu Yanan, winner of the men's Taijiquan (shadow boxing) event in Athens, stole the spotlight at the 9th Wushu Worlds as he won the gold in the event in Beijing on Wednesday.

Wu, 21, showed his dominance in the competition to win the title by scoring 9.90 points, beating runner-up Chang Ching-kuei of Chinese Taipei by 0.38 points.

"It's fantastic to win the gold," said the 21-year-old happily.

Talking about his nearly perfect 9.90 points, Wu was quite excited. "It's my best performance, which exceeds my expectation.

"But 9.90 points doesn't mean perfection," said Wu. "To gain further achievements, I must make improvement, especially in my facial expression and artistic performance."

It is Wu's first gold in World Championships, since he didn't attend the 2005 edition. "It is the first time I have won in the World Championships, which makes me a little nervous."

Wu withdrew from the Taijijian (sword play) competition on Tuesday. "It is damaging for the development of an event if the country of origin dominates it for a long time. This is a common law in all competitive sports.

"We decided to pull out of the event in order to better promote and develop Wushu around the world," explained Wu.

Though he dominated the day's competition, Wu admitted that he had some strong rivals abroad.

"The teams of Japan, South Korea and Iran are all quite strong that they have some talented players, and I will be very pleased to compete with them."

Wu expressed his wishes to take part in the 2008 Beijing Wushu Tournament, which will be held during the Beijing Olympic Games, but his biggest wish is to win gold in the 2009 National Games.

"I'll try my best to qualify for the Wushu Tournament next year," said the Asian champion. "But to win the gold at the National Games in 2009 is my biggest wish now, since I performed terribly at the 10th National Games in Nanjing two year ago."

Wu won the Taijijian event in Nanjing, but finished a distant 11th place in Taijiquan event.

Starting to learn Wushu at six, and specializing in Taijiquan at 15, Wu has his own understanding towards the event.

"It's not just a kind of sports with beautiful movements, actually it is quite meaningful," he said. "It reflects a way of life and philosophy."

"The standing posture and the movements symbolize a personality of straightforwardness and integrity. They indicate a man of mental balance as well as physical well-being," he added.

"I take Taijiquan not only as my career, but also an important part of my life," Wu said.

Source: Xinhua

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