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Sports in Review 2018: China's top 10 contributors

(CNTV)    13:44, December 25, 2018

As 2018 is coming to an end, CGTN is reviewing Chinese sports for the past year. First, let's take a look at the country's top 10 contributors in this area.

Wu Lei, Best Player and Best Striker of 2018 CSL

The 2018 Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) proved a huge success for Wu Lei. The 27-year-old not only won the Golden Boot, like he did in the past five seasons and became Footballer of the Year, but also helped his club, Shanghai SIPG, to win their first CSL championship, putting an end to the seven-year dominance of Guangzhou Evergrande.

Wang Shuang, beacon of Chinese women's soccer

Having joined Paris Saint-Germain in August, Wang Shuang became the first Chinese player to earn a steady spot in a major European major soccer club and has proved that she deserves the job with three goals in 10 games. She was crowned Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Player of the Year in November and was chosen to lead China at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

Yao Ming, China's basketball giant serves his country in a different way

Yao Ming, president of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) witnessed the success of his reforms since he took the job a year ago, as China's basketball teams bagged all four gold medals (men's and women's 5 v 5, men's and women's 3 v 3) at the 2018 Asian Games. Yao's name was in the air and so was his giant body, tossed up by Chinese players to show their gratitude to the icon of Chinese basketball.

Liu Xiang, women's 50m backstroke world record holder

On August 21, Chinese swimmer Liu Xiang won the women's 50-meter backstroke at the 2018 Asian Games and set a new world record of 26.98 seconds for the event. She's also the first female swimmer to break the 27-second barrier in the event. Calling 2018 a happy year, Liu also said that the success helped her realize the infinite possibilities for herself and encouraged her to do her best at the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Su Bingtian keeps moving forward

What did 29-year-old Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian achieve in 2018? On June 22, he won men's 100m race at the 2018 IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Madrid with 9.91 seconds that tied the Asian record. A week later, he reached that record again at the Meeting de Paris. Then on August 26, Su claimed a gold medal in the men's 100m race at the 2018 Asian Games with 9.92 seconds that broke the Asian Games record. Su said he believes Asian sprinters are capable of finishing the 100m within 9.85 seconds. He is getting close to that record.

Wang Qiang, Chinese tennis hope

Who is the best Chinese tennis player after Li Na? Wang Qiang put her name top of the list with a remarkable performance in the second half of 2018. She won two WTA International tiles, made it to the third round of US Open, defended the gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games, entered the semi-final at the 2018 China Open and raised her world ranking to a history-high 20th. As the fourth Chinese tennis player to achieve such success after Li Na, Zheng Jie and Peng Shuai, the 26-year-old Wang is on her way towards greater achievements.

Jian Zihao (Uzi), China's eSports world champion

The year has not been perfect for Uzi as he and the Royal Never Give Up (RNG) eSports team were eliminated from the 2018 League of Legends (LOL) World Championship. However, it has still been a successful year for him. On May 20, RNG won their first world title at the 2018 LOL Midseason Invitational (MSI) to which Uzi made great contributions as the team's ace marksman. Then on August 29, Uzi, as a member of Team China, helped his country claim the second gold medal in eSports at the 2018 Asian Games.

Wheelchair curling team, first Chinese Winter Paralympic gold medalist

China's wheelchair curling team made history on March 17 at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea's PyeongChang as they won the country's first Winter Paralympic gold medal by defeating Norway 6-5. This gold carried so much weight not only because it's the first, but also because China overcame its shadows from the past in the semi-final by knocking out Canada, the country that beat China in the semi-final four years ago in 2014 in Sochi.

Jin Boyang, future of Chinese figure skating

Even though 21-year-old Jin Boyang failed to make it to the 2018 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Vancouver, Canada, the past year was successful for him. He won men's singles at the 2018 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. Then in his debut at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Jin placed fourth, the highest of any Chinese athlete competing in men's single skating in Olympic history and only 7.47 points behind Javier Fernandez who finished third. Having enjoyed the advantage of finishing difficult moves, Jin will need to invest more efforts in improving his fundamentals to make further progress with his figure skating career.

Li Haotong, making slow but steady progress

Having won his second European Tour Win Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Li Haotong added a sixth win to his professional victories. Thanks to this win, his world ranking then rose to a career-high No.32, the highest among all male Chinese golf players. In his own wrap-up of 2018, 22-year-old Li said that he achieved a lot in an incredible year and expressed his gratitude to everyone who supported him. Like his description of himself on Weibo, Li has been making slow but steady progress every day.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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