China's off to a fast start, with their first ever golds in swimming in addition to golds in shooting and weightlifting. The men's gymnastic team is not looking too good though (and the Chinese women just lost to South Korea in archery). They must have been eating too many vegetables, just like the Chinese woman's volleyball team.
Sun Yang propped himself up on the lane rope, posed for the cameras and let out a big roar as he pounded his fists into the water. It was the start of a big night for a Chinese swimming team that is developing into a major power.
It was a rough opening night in the pool for defending Olympic champions, above all a certain Michael Phelps, but it was a historic night for the Chinese.
China and Japan slipped up again and again in qualifying, finding themselves tumbling from the high bar, falling off the pommel horse and stumbling on the floor exercise. At the end of the night, both teams slipped on the leader board, too. Japan plummeted to fifth out of eight advancing teams; China was sixth.
“One of our competitors was a substitute, so he lacked experience,” said China’s Chen Yibing, as he tried to explain his team’s shaky performance.
Chinese fireworks lit up the London 2012 opening ceremony and China's young table tennis stars are expected to rise to the task of taking every gold, although rivals hope the pressure could lead to an upset...
"It's very, very difficult to beat the Chinese. They don't just prepare for the Olympics for one or two years, they prepare for the four years with their training system," said Australian Miao Miao after winning her first round match on Saturday.
“They have showed significant decline in their strength and fitness” coach Yu Juemin said of his squad after Sunday's defeat to the US. “We are wary of meat tainted by lean-meat powder, and we didn't eat any during the game period,” Yu told the Shanghai Daily newspaper...
All Chinese athletes have been warned by the country's Sports Ministry to avoid meat contaminated with the powder, also known as clenbuterol, because it's banned by the International Olympic Committee as a performance-enhancing substance.
China bans the use of clenbuterol in livestock because of the chemical's noxious long-term effects on human health, but many pork farmers still administer it because it produces leaner meat. The World Anti-Doping Agency issued a warning last year about clenbuterol-tainted meat in China as well as Mexico, where it is also rampant.
As a result, the Chinese volleyball team only eats meat at its training camp, where the food can be tested for contamination. When players go elsewhere in the country, they have to forego pork, beef and lamb — as they did in the lead-up to the volleyball World Grand Prix finals tournament.