It’s Day 3 of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and China has made a strong start – sitting four medals behind Trump’s USA with 8 medals and equal in the gold medal standings, having taken top spot in the synchronised 3m springboard (Wu Mingxia & Shi Tingmao), 10m air pistol (Zhang Mengxue) and 56kg weightlifting (Long Qingquan).
But if we put aside the swimming pool handbags between freestyle rivals Sun Yang and “the swimming gala” Mack Hortan, the biggest controversy for Team China has come at the top of a flagpole where sharp-eyed observers have spotted a glaring fault. Can you spot the difference?
Argh! My eyes!
There was uproar, with CCTV declaring “The national flag is the symbol of a country. No mistakes are allowed!”. Although it later emerged that the faulty ensign was manufactured in China.
Now, people in some quarters have claimed that Brushduck was not even aware that the Asian Cup – Australia 2015 was taking place, let alone that China was taking part, having qualified for their 11th straight championship. While there might be some truth to this, it doesn’t matter, as we now bring you this Sports Report special on China’s progress in the competition.
China breezed through the early phase, topping Group B after smashing grieving Saudi Arabia 1-0, pulverising coastline-challenged Uzbekistan 2-1 and mullering long-time ideological pals North Korea 2-1 – Jiangsu Sainty’s Sun Ke (孙可) with a brace making it 3 in 3 in the competition.
Sun Ke celebrates v North Korea
Unfortunately it all came to a dramatic end at the Brisbane Stadium against the home nation in the last-8, as China failed to take advantage of early pressure and veteren Socceroos’ talisman Tim Cahill ensured his side’s progress with a couple of beauties, including this overhead effort:
Australia take on UAE in the semis as they hunt for their first Asian Cup triumph on their fourth attempt.
I have just read an interesting article from China Dialogue on how top sporting brands: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Li Ning etc are getting together for a ‘detox’. The world’s top sporting brands are setting out a plan to ‘wean themselves off’ the toxins they use to dye clothing.
In August last year Nike committed to a challenge set by Greenpeace to ‘eliminating all hazardous chemicals across its entire supply chain, and the entire life-cycle of its products by 2020’
Puma have also agreed to up their game and have been taking steps to evaluate their environmental cost. They have ‘calculated that the cost their operations had imposed on the natural environment last year through their greenhouse-gas emissions and water consumption was 94.4 million euros’
I happen to be reading an excellent book on the history of cancer at the moment and just read about how many of the toxins this article talks about were discovered.
In the mid 19th century, the cotton industry was undergoing a revolution and represented about 50% of all of the British exports, however, extracting the dyes used to colour the cotton was still a labour intensive process. The booming cotton industry led to new techniques of dyeing being developed and hastened the creation of the field of synthetic chemistry.
The new dyes that were being developed led chemists to create a whole range of chemical byproducts: solvents, alcohols, alkaloids, amides, alizarins and other non natural chemicals. It was the development of these synthetic chemicals that gave birth to modern pharmacology. They also have serious environmental consequences and it has taken a while for any clothing corporations to take notice. I wonder how long it will take big pharmaceuticals to follow suit.
The Chinese idiom a sichuan dog barks at the sun 蜀犬吠日 (Shu quan fei ri) is used to indicate being suprised at something being normal, due to one’s ignorance. During the Tang dynasty Sichuan was a foggy place (now it is just polluted) and when the Sun came out it was a rare occasion. So the dogs barked, thinking something strange was happening.
This link is pretty tenuous. Yesterday, I got pretty excited and started barking at an article in the Sun linking Chelsea forward Nicholas Anelka to Shanghai Shenhua. Apparently, Anelka was being offered £9.2 million per season to join the struggling Shanghai outfit. Where these numbers or stories come from is anybody’s guess.
According to the Sun (and the Mail), Shenhua also recently appointed Miroslav Blazevic, 76, as their new coach. However, standards of journalism at these national papers are clearly not very high. Not only was the Anelka story a load of tosh, but it is also quite clear that Blazevic is not the manager of Shenhua. Blazevic took the job as national team coach for China, then didn’t qualify for the 2012 Olympics and is now working in Iranian league football side Mes Kerman.
Shenhua’s coach is of course Croatian legend Drazen Besek. To verify, here is a fantastic video of Besek, doing what some managers in the English Premier League should do. One of the Shenhua players ‘collides’ with another on the field, he drops to the floor as though mortally wounded. Besek has none of it and rushes on to the field, tells him to stop faking and picks him up.
Although football fans have come to expect transfer rumours to be just that, they still manage to sell newspapers and generate stories where there are none.
There is a disturbing trend of politicians getting their hands dirty and posing for the cameras none more than when it comes to sport. Here is Premier Wen showing us his hoop dreams:
This week Camron (as he now likes to be called) and O’bama posed like the best mates they are, playing ping pong in an attempt to show their solidarity in an attempt to say to the Chinese “we can play ping pong too”.
We would like show our support for Li Na, who has become the first Chinese tennis player to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
Determination! Li will need this to overcome Kim Clijsters in Melbourne
28 year old 李娜 from Wuhan, Hubei Province, should not be confused with 李娜 the 200o Olympics diving Gold Medal winner, 李娜 the 2006 World Champion épée fencer or 李娜 the 2002 World keirin cycling champion.
She should also definately not be confused with 李納, the former Prince of Longxi and General of the Tang Dynasty, or 李讷 the daughter of Mao Zedong with his fourth wife and writer of bad operas Jiang Qing.