China’s 14th National Games closes in Xi’an

China’s 14th National Games, billed as the country’s “mini-Olympics,” concluded in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, on Monday.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang officially declared the Games close in a ceremony held at the Xi’an Olympic Center Gymnasium.

The 14th National Games featured 54 sports and 595 events, of which 35 sports and 410 events were held for elite athletes, while the remainder were mass sports programs. Over 12,000 elite athletes and 10,000 amateur participants took part in the sporting extravaganza.

The quadrennial games featured all the summer Olympic sports, including skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and breakdancing, in addition to Wushu, while competitions for junior groups in sports like diving and gymnastics were set to scout talents for Paris 2024.

Closing ceremony of the Chinese National Games in Xi’an, September 27, 2021. /CFP

Most events were held in Shaanxi Province, marking the first time the Games were held in China’s central and western regions. Sailing, canoe slalom, surfing, breakdancing, fencing and track cycling events were organized in other provinces and municipalities.

Several new records, including 12 world and two Asian, were created in shooting, weightlifting, athletics, track cycling, sport climbing and swimming.

Kuok Kin Hang won Macao’s first-ever medal at the National Games on September 18, underlining the growing importance of the showpiece event to the special administrative region.

Competitions in diving, artistic swimming and rhythmic gymnastics concluded before the opening ceremony on September 15.

L-R: Ho Iat Seng, Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Ma Xingrui, Governor of Guangdong Province, look on at the closing ceremony of the Chinese National Games in Xi’an, September 27, 2021. /CFP

As the first major multi-sport event held in China since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Games adopted a string of anti-virus measures including vaccinations, nucleic acid test, closed-loop management and health monitoring to ensure each participant’s safety.

Around 3,300 doping tests have been conducted during the Games, and over 3,200 people have participated in its anti-doping education program.

The 15th National Games will take place in south China’s Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao, in 2025.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency