On September 24, in the final of the men's eight-oared coxswain of the Hangzhou Asian Games, Foshan athletes Nie Yide and Ni Xulin, along with their teammates Li Wenlei, Chen Xianfeng, Xu Qiao, Lü Yi, Ji Gaoxing, Cai Pengpeng, and Liang Weixiong, representing China, clinched the gold medal with a time of 5 minutes and 40.17 seconds. This marked China’s eighth gold medal at this Asian Games and also the first gold medal won by Foshan athletes at this year's event.
A New Beginning
During the preliminary stage of the men's eight-oared coxswain event, the Chinese team secured the top two spots alongside the Indian team, earning them a smooth entry into the A group final.
At the start of the race, there was little difference between the teams. At the 500-meter mark, the Chinese team took the lead, but the edge was slight, just under 1 second. At the 1000-meter mark, the Chinese team extended their lead to over 1 second. In the final 1000 meters, the Chinese team worked together in perfect harmony, maintaining their leading position and ultimately winning the gold medal with a time of 5 minutes and 40.17 seconds.
Nie Yide, a graduate of Foshan Experimental Middle School, expressed his gratitude to the people of Foshan for their support after winning the gold medal. He said, "From being a provincial champion to a national champion, and now winning an Asian Games gold, I have gradually achieved my dreams. I will continue to train hard and strive to perform at my best, welcoming next year's Paris Olympics in the best possible condition and contributing to Foshan and the development of national sports."
"Before the competition, I was very confident about winning the gold," said Ni Xulin during an interview. He mentioned that the early training was tough, and when he first started rowing, he knew nothing about it. Intense physical and rowing training tested him, and years of training left his palms calloused. Looking back on his days of hard work, Ni Xulin said that when faced with setbacks, he would not easily give up. As long as he puts in the effort, even if the results are not as expected, he won't have regrets.
"Winning a gold medal in the Asian Games is not the end but a new beginning," Ni Xulin stated, emphasizing his determination to continue training and strive for qualification to participate in the Paris Olympics next year.
Foshan Leads in Competitive Sports Development in Guangdong
For Foshan, the first gold medal represents not only glory but also inspiration. In the field of competitive sports development, Foshan has consistently ranked at the forefront within the province. At the 16th Guangdong Provincial Games held this year, Foshan achieved impressive results, securing the fourth position in the delegation with 83.75 gold medals, 72.61 silver medals, 103.75 bronze medals, and a total of 6730.6 points. In the mass sports group, Foshan ranked third with 17 first-place awards, 39 second-place awards, and 41 third-place awards. These achievements mark the best results that Foshan has achieved in the past three Provincial Games.
Furthermore, Foshan has established a multi-level talent development system for competitive sports. Besides six different types of sports schools, there are 28 provincial traditional schools, 111 municipal traditional schools, and 255 district-level traditional schools, along with 27 youth clubs. Additionally, Foshan has centered its efforts on athletes, deepening the integration of sports and education, strengthening talent selection and nurturing, and expanding sports programs in primary and secondary schools. This proactive approach has significantly improved the enthusiasm of school-based sports programs and enhanced their demonstrative and leading roles. In the past four years, schools in Foshan have sent 10 talents to the provincial sports teams.
In addition, Foshan has adhered to an open approach to training and organizing teams. This strategy mobilizes social resources actively. With an emphasis on sports like speed roller skating and gymnastics, Foshan relies on 11 organizations to host 11 popular events in competitive sports groups at the Guangdong Provincial Games. This approach promotes the joint development of government-sponsored and community-based sports teams and training programs.
Reporter | Lynn
Revisor | Eddie, Christy
Photo | Foshan News and Media Center