Chinese Meng Guanliang and Yang Wenjun, hot favorites in men's
C2 500m race, won the final in one minute 40.278 seconds on
Saturday at Athens Olympic regatta, the first gold for China's
canoeing sport in the Olympic history.
Meng, excited over his victory, said, "we are prepared for today
and I tried our best."
"It's not a coincidence after years' hard training. Our efforts
are not in vain. And we finally realized our dream," Meng said.
"We were slow at the start but we ignored the disadvantage and
just concentrated on the finish line. I could not believe that we
won the first place and I had thought that we came third or
Meng, 28, from Zhejiang
Province of China, spoke highly of his partner Yang, saying
that their good partnership proved success.
Yang, bursted into tears, said that he was much satisfied with
the result after years' hard training and the stiff
"I'm very proud to win a gold for our country. I never imagined
this and this is incredible. I won a gold, the very first canoeing
gold for our country," he said.
21-year-old Yang only partnered with Meng for months and made
In their debut in May's regatta of Japan's Komatsu Continental
Qualification Asia of 2004, Meng and Yang, came out with the fourth
world best result in 1:40.27.
In June, the duo, took all by surprise to crown Duisburg World
Cup, the first ever world champions for Chinese canoemen.
Meng talked about their coach Marek Ploch from Poland, saying,
"he brought us new training idea, which we didn't understand and we
had quarrels with him sometimes. He has been coaching us for two
years and seven months, and his coaching capability is fully
Xiao Tian, deputy chef de mission of China to Olympics, said,
"the gold bears special significance as this is crucial to promote
China's 119 (the total number of golds in track and field, swimming
and other water events) project."
Cuba took the silver and the bronze went to Russia.
(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2004)