Zhang Wenxiu claimed China's first medal at the 11th world
athletics championships after finishing third in the women's hammer
throw in Osaka on Thursday.
China's Zhang Wenxiu
celebtates after winning the bronze in the women's hammer throw
final at the 11th IAAF World Athletics Championship in Osaka,
Japan, August 30, 2007. (Xinhua)
Zhang, who made her world championships debut at 15 in 2001,
took the bronze with 74.39 meters, behind Germany's Betty Heidler
in 74.76m and Cuba's Yipsi Moreno in 74.74m.
"I'm proud of winning China's first medal of the championships,"
she said. "Coming into the competition, I didn't think about a
medal but just try to do my best."
It was the fourth time for Zhang, now representing the Chinese
Army team at home and selected to the national team in 2001, to
compete in the world championships.
She finished 11th in the 2001 Edmonton worlds, failed to enter
the final in 2003 Paris, took the fifth place in Helsinki two years
"I have a lot of experience and I know how to stay in control,"
she said. "It is really a confidence booster for next year's
Zhang set four Asian records between 2001 and 2006, also broke
the world youth record in 2003 and broke the world junior record
twice between 2004 and 2005.
"Since I broke the Asian record with 74.86 meters in the
national championships last July, I have maintained a good form and
I came to Osaka confidently," she said.
With the Beijing Olympic Games less than one year away, Zhang,
born in northeast China's port city Dalian, said she hopes to do
"I don't want to have a lot of pressure at the Olympic Games,"
she said. "I just want to try my best and hopefully I can do better
at home," said Zhang, who finished 7th at the 2004 Athens
(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2007)