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Chinese rowers stride to podium with smiles from heart
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20:54, August 17, 2008

China wins Women's Quadruple Sculls Gold at Beijing Olympics

Chatting and smiling broadly, they leaped onto the podium with winners' heart. Sunday meant so much for them, who rewrote China's rowing history by clinching the first gold for the vast country.

Their names should be remembered: Tang Bin, Jin Ziwei, Xi Aihua and Zhang Yangyang.

Clad in red uniform, they stood beside the podium, chatting and chuckling, showing no sign of pressure.

They stood in the breeze, joyous and smiling, waving hands and flowers to the cheering audience, both Chinese and foreign. They knew at the very moment that they were the happiest in the world.

It seemed they felt nervous to some extent, because they had never stood on an Olympic podium before and never tasted such a good flavor of overflowing happiness.

The feeling of greatness was just great. Medals were presented by dignitaries and flowers were put into their big hands.

When their names were announced through a loudspeaker, they all raised their hands high in the air and waved again and again to the audience.

Finally, the greatest moment came.

Some 50 meters away from the podium, China's national flag was being raised along the central pole and China's national anthem was played.

They took out a Chinese national flag and let it unfold before them, covering most of their bodies with the five stars shining to the audience.

They then put the flowers in one hand and gold medals in the other, posing before photographers struggling to elbow their way to the front. Snapshots were taken and historic greatness was sealed, for the nation and for themselves.

"We have made a breakthrough in the rowing history of China," Jin Ziwei said cheerfully at a post-event press conference.

"We focused on what each person can do individually, and got the best from ourselves," 19-year-old Zhang Yangyang said.

With the awarding ceremony reaching its climax in the evening glow, the Chinese crew showed their broad smiles as a result of their long-expected achievement.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 32 13 11 56
2 USA 17 18 22 57
3 Germany 9 5 5 19
4 Great Britain 9 4 7 20
5 Australia 8 10 11 29
6 South Korea 7 9 4 20
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