Home / Sports / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Earthquake shakes sporting world
Adjust font size:

China's biggest earthquake in 32 years has rocked all aspects of life and the sports world is no exception.

The State General Administration for Sports has vowed to donate five million yuan (US$714,000) to relief efforts while athletes are keen to provide further assistance to the quake-hit area in Sichuan Province.

"We will make the donation on behalf of our Olympic athletes," read a statement released yesterday. "We would like to do whatever we can and we are ready to respond anytime.

"We are here to offer our condolences to people involved in the earthquake."

Joining the administration is NBA all-star center Yao Ming, who has promised to donate 500,000 yuan (US$71,400) while the men's and women's basketball teams, both offered 100,000 yuan (US$14,300) yesterday.

Badminton head coach Li Yongbo, who is leading the national team at the Thomas and Uber Cups in Indonesia, and snooker star Ding Junhui have each provided 100,000 yuan (US$14,300) as well.

The 7.8-magnitude quake toppled buildings, schools and a chemical plant in Wenchuan, 92 km away from provincial capital Chengdu. It has killed more than 10,000 people with the number likely to rise in the coming days.

The administration are collecting information from Sichuan but no athletes were reported injured by 7 PM yesterday, however, the quake has no doubt affected Chinese athletes who are preparing for the Beijing Olympics, which is less than 90 days away.

The eighth round of the Chinese soccer Super League that was scheduled for today, was postponed until Saturday. Chinese Football Association (CFA) is planning to stage a series of charity competitions to make donations for Sichuan.

"The charity games are at the top of our agenda," said Lu Feng, director of the league's managing company. "We want to lend a hand to those who are suffering from the quake. We are working on a specific charity plan, and we will announce it as soon as possible."

The quake also put Vision China Project, a nation-wide grassroots soccer event held by Asian Football Confederation, to an abrupt end.

AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam and Xie Yalong, vice-president of CFA were co-hosting a press conference in Chengdu when the quake hit yesterday afternoon.

All the attendance in the press conference evacuated safely and no body was injured.

Sichuan is a major province on China's sporting map. Its history of producing Olympic champions dates back to the 1980's when Zhang Rongfang and Zhu Ling helped China win a women's volleyball gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics, as well as three world championships titles in a row.

Other high-profile athletes from Sichuan include table tennis Olympic gold medalist Chen Longcan, judo world champion Tan Lin and Olympic shooting champion Zhang Shan.

Sichuan's latest national treasures are Grand Slam doubles champions Zheng Jie and Yan Zi, both from Chengdu. The duo is currently competing in the WTA Rome Open in Italy. Both were assured that their families are safe.

"I've contacted their parents and texted the players and they are OK," said Gao Shenyang, vice-director of the Chinese Tennis Association. "We will keep in touch with their families and try to let the duo stay away from concerns."

Earlier yesterday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed support to China as well.

"We give our deepest condolences to the victims. The Olympic movement is at your side, especially during these difficult moments," IOC President Jacques Rogge said in a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

"Our thoughts are with you," Rogge added in the letter, which was penned early in the morning as the scale of the disaster was just becoming apparent.

Messages from the IOC have also been sent to Liu Qi, president of the Organizing Committee for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the IOC said in a statement.

(China Daily May 14, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Torchbearers donate money to the quake-hit areas
- Minute of silence to be observed in torch relay for earthquake victims
- Stars do their bit for quake-stricken areas
- Companies donate 1.05 mln yuan for Green Olympics
Most Viewed >>
- 'Super Dan' loses but China makes final
- China wins Uber Cup badminton
- Tennis: ATP Hamburg Masters
- Space-age suits race into uncharted waters
- Yao donates 500,000 yuan to earthquake victims