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Games get great play in China


09:47, July 30, 2012

Chen Miao, a gymnastics fan, strikes a pose in front of a London bus at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing on Friday, as the city's residents are in a festival mood to celebrate the opening of the London Olympics. Chen dreams of winning gold at the Olympics one day.

BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Though the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games took place in London, the largest group of spectators gathered around their TV sets and computers in the middle of the night in China.

Viewership of the summer Games in the nation that last hosted them is expected to be more than any other country in the world.

According to a poll by Ipsos published on the eve of the Games, 92 percent of the population planned to watch the event at some point, a far greater proportion than even the 61 percent in the host country, the United Kingdom.

Gu Xiaowei, 24, a marketing executive for Mercedes Benz from Shanghai, said she wouldn't miss the opening ceremony for the world.

She was gearing up for the Games by visiting a special London display - which featured a replica London bus at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing - with her boyfriend on Friday.

"We will be going to sleep for a while and then we will get up. It doesn't matter if I'm tired in the morning," she said.

Boyfriend Li Jiankun, also 24, added that he had been anticipating the event since the closing ceremony in Beijing.

"I think it will be impressive but it will be difficult to stage something as spectacular as Beijing because China spent so much on it," he said.

China won 100 medals at the 2008 Games, including 51 golds, more than any other nation.

Pen Xinyi, 26, who is studying at Goldsmiths College at the University of London, said she would be watching the opening ceremony with colleagues on the big screen in Hyde Park.

"The opening ceremony will be almost like a graduation party for us. We hope to get a good spot and, of course, we will bring umbrellas just in case it rains," she said.

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