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Yearender: Top 10 Chinese sports news events in 2023

Xinhua| Updated: December 29, 2023 L M S

Here is Xinhua News Agency's selection of the 10 most significant pieces of Chinese sports news in 2023, in chronological order:

- Chinese tennis players achieved new heights in Grand Slams and world tournaments. A record-breaking 10 men's and women's players from the Chinese mainland competed in the singles main draw of the Australian Open. Wu Yibing became the first Chinese mainland player to lift an ATP Tour trophy after winning the Dallas Open title in February.

Seven players from the Chinese mainland reached the second round of the US Open singles, with Zheng Qinwen reaching the last eight, while Zhang Zhizhen notably defeated fifth seed Casper Ruud, becoming the first men's player from the Chinese mainland to beat the world's top-5 player in Grand Slam tournaments. At the Hangzhou Asian Games, Zheng triumphed in the women's singles, and Zhang captured China's first Asiad men's singles gold medal in nearly three decades.

- The China Commission of Arbitration for Sport was founded in Beijing on February 11, marking a milestone in the country's sports arbitration system.

- China's chess player Ding Liren defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia in the 2023 FIDE World Championship final tie-breaker on April 30, becoming the 17th chess world champion and the first Chinese male player to win the title. Ju Wenjun of China also won the Women's World Chess Championship for the fourth time in a row.

- China swept all five titles at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Durban, South Africa in May. World No. 1 paddlers Sun Yingsha and Fan Zhendong emerged victorious in the women's and men's singles respectively. Fan and Wang Chuqin helped China reclaim the men's doubles title, while Chen Meng and Wang Yidi secured the women's doubles gold. Wang Chuqin and Sun retained their mixed doubles title.

- Public events in football, basketball, dragon boat racing and other sports went viral in rural areas across China this year. A guiding document on promoting rural revitalization with sports was jointly released by China's General Administration of Sport and related ministries in June, as China plans to organize more than 100 rural sports events by 2035.

- China were crowned champions at the FIBA Women's Asia Cup to end their 12-year wait for the title with a 73-71 victory over Japan in the final on July 2. China center Han Xu was named the tournament's MVP and selected in the All-Star Five together with her teammate Li Meng. On October 5, China's women edged Japan again to retain their title at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

- At the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka in July, China topped the final standings with a total of 20 gold, 8 silver and 12 bronze medals in diving, swimming and artistic swimming, registering their best performance in the competition. Qin Haiyang became the first swimmer in history to bag three breaststroke gold medals in a single World Championships and broke the men's 200m breaststroke world record.

- Youth sports was celebrated in China as the World University Games and China's first Student (Youth) Games were held.

Chengdu, capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province, hosted the 31st FISU World University Games from July 28 to August 8. Around 6,500 athletes from 113 countries and regions participated in the Chengdu Universiade, with China dominating the medal tally.

From November 5 to 15, China's first Student (Youth) Games took place in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The Games resulted from the merger of the National Youth Games and the National Student Games as part of China's endeavor to improve its youth sports system.

- On September 23, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the Hangzhou Asian Games open. Over 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions competed in the Games which ran through October 8.

China won 201 gold, 111 silver and 71 bronze medals at the Hangzhou Asiad, breaking the 200-gold mark in the continental multi-sport event for the first time. It was also the 11th consecutive Asian Games at which China topped the medal table. At the Hangzhou Asian Para Games from October 22 to 28, China also sat atop the medal standings, with 214 golds and 521 overall.

- China's Yang Shaohui clocked two hours, seven minutes and nine seconds at the 2023 Fukuoka International Marathon on December 3, lowering the men's marathon national record by 21 seconds. The previous record holder was He Jie, who had broken a 15-year-old record at the 2023 Wuxi Marathon in March.

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