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Yearender: Top 10 Chinese athletes/teams of 2023

Xinhua| Updated: December 26, 2023 L M S

As the sporting calendar draws to a close, Xinhua News Agency has selected the top 10 Chinese athletes/teams for 2023:

1. Ding Liren (male, chess)

Ding defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia at the 2023 FIDE World Championship, becoming the first Chinese male player to win the world chess championship.

2. Wang Chuqin (male, table tennis)

At the Hangzhou Asian Games, Wang became the first-ever men's paddler to win four gold medals at a single Asiad. The 23-year-old also reclaimed the men's doubles title with Fan Zhendong for China and retained the mixed doubles crown with Sun Yingsha at the Durban worlds.

3. China women's basketball team

China's women's basketball team dethroned Japan to win a classic final at the FIBA Women's Basketball Asia Cup in July. They defeated Japan again to defend their Asian Games title in October, the seventh time for them to be crowned in Asiad history.

4. Wen Xiaoyan (female, para athletics)

Wen won gold medals in all four events that she competed in at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games -- the women's 100m T37, 200m T37, long jump T37/38 and 4x100m mixed relay. She also set new world records in the three individual events and a new Asian record in the relay.

5. Liu Qingyi (female, breakdancing)

Liu beat Japan's Ami Yuasa to claim the women's breakdancing gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games. The 18-year-old has also qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

6. Zhang Zhizhen (male, tennis)

Zhang surged into the quarterfinals at the ATP Madrid Open, becoming the first man from the Chinese mainland to reach the quarterfinals of the ATP 1000 tournament. He also secured his first Asiad gold in the men's singles at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which is also the first Asiad gold medal in the event for China in nearly three decades.

7. Zhang Yufei (female, swimming)

In 2023, Zhang claimed 23 gold, four silver and two bronze medals at the World Aquatics Championships, FISU World University Games, Asian Games and World Cup series. At the Fukuoka World Championships, she won her first world title in the women's 100m butterfly. The 25-year-old was named women's MVP at the Hangzhou Asian Games with a haul of six golds.

8. Dong Hongjuan (female, mountaineering)

Dong successfully ascended the summit of the 8,027-meter Mount Shishapangma on April 26, becoming the first woman to conquer all 14 peaks situated 8,000 meters above sea level, with her feat later confirmed by the international mountaineering summit website 8000ers.com.

9. Qin Haiyang (male, swimming)

Qin broke the world record in the men's 200m breaststroke and became the first swimmer to sweep 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke titles at a single World Championships in Fukuoka. He was named the Best Male Swimmer of the Year 2023 by World Aquatics. The 24-year-old also claimed the men's MVP award at the Hangzhou Asian Games after pocketing five gold medals.

10. Xie Zhenye (male, athletics)

Xie stormed to the men's 100m victory at the Asian Games and helped China win the men's 4x100m relay title, thus completing a golden double in Hangzhou. As a member of China's men's 4x100m relay team at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Xie received his reallocated bronze medal at the Hangzhou Asiad.

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