Roundup: Chinese team wins annual China-Egypt Wushu Sanda championship

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CAIRO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- For the consecutive year, China's Wushu team won the annual "Horus Wushu Sanda Championship" between China and Egypt here on Saturday.

The competition was organized by the Chinese Embassy's Cultural Center in Cairo in cooperation with the Wushu associations of the two countries.

This year, each team was composed of eight male and two female athletes. The final result was 6-4 in favor of China.

Four male and two female Chinese athletes of different weight categories snatched victory over their Egyptian counterparts in the tournament that was largely attended by Chinese community in Egypt, who waved Chinese flags and chanted slogans in support of their nationals.

The championship was attended by Egyptian Youth and Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy, Chinese ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang, Chinese Cultural Counselor to Egypt Shi Yuewen and a number of Egyptian officials.

Wushu, a Chinese martial art and a full-contact sport, is composed of two disciplines: Taolu (forms) and Sanda (sparring).

Sanda is a modern fighting method that combines kickboxing and wrestling in addition to grappling techniques.

The coach of the Chinese team, Wu Wenjun, said the level of Egyptian athletes is higher than he expected, noting that several athletes are particularly good.

"I hope that such exchanges will increase. This kind of martial arts has become recognized at the Youth Olympic Games, we have an obligation to make this sport more popular," he told Xinhua.

Song Hao, one of the winning chinese athletes, said it was his first time to participate in the Horus Championship, adding that the Egyptian players are very powerful, "which has caused some difficulties for Chinese athletes."

"But we have some advantages in tactics and sensitivity....I'm very happy to play with Egyptian players and look forward to our common progress," he revealed.

For his part, international referee Zhang Yadong said that the competition between the two sides was very fierce.

"Egyptian athletes have continuously improved their performance in international competitions in recent years, and Chinese athletes have also performed as they should," the referee said.

The championship has become an important element of Egypt-China strong and distinguished relations on both official and popular levels.

Mohamed Ashour, chairman of Egyptian Wushu Federation, said he is very proud of the performance of the Egyptian athletes, stressing that the Egyptian national team is notably improving.

"The federation has very strong ties with Chinese Cultural Center in Egypt and we are already planning to widen our mutual cooperation.

Ashour revealed that 25 Egyptian athletes will soon head to China for a one-month course at China's Shaolin temple.

Before the competitions started, Egyptian and Chinese athletes of different ages presented a performance of Kungfu Wushu styles and techniques that captivated the audience.

Cultural exchanges have increased since China and Egypt upgraded their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014, with artists, cultural and musical delegations paying mutual visits.

Through such activities, Egypt and China hope to boost friendly ties and enhance mutual understanding and future development between the peoples of the two countries. Enditem

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