03 August 2023 | in Summer FISU World University Games
A triumph by the host nation at international sport competitions always brings a lot of joy to local fans.
The excitement was even greater on Thursday morning when two Chengdu-based athletes won gold on the final day of wushu at the FISU World University Games.
To conclude the competition, athletes competed in the finals of Sanda, one of the major disciplines of contemporary Chinese wushu.
He Feng (China) in blue in 70kg SandaSanda is in many ways similar to kickboxing or Muay Thai. Each bout consists of three two-minute rounds. To prevail, an athlete needs to either win two rounds, knock out his opponent or score a technical victory.
On Thursday, four of six gold medals were awarded to host China.
The local fans at Chengbei Gymnasium particularly applauded two of the winners: Ma Yigu and He Feng, who both study at the Chengdu Sport University.
Ma competed in the men’s 60kg final, where he faced Bintang Guitara from Indonesia. Although he admitted to feeling a lot of stress during an interview a day before the final, he didn’t show it during the decisive fight and won easily 2-0.
“I feel very comfortable competing in the place that I know the most. Our Sichuan people are very warm and supportive,” said the 20-year-old, underlining the great atmosphere that accompanied the competitors throughout the day.
“I started to practice Sanda when I was nine and at that time it wasn’t easy. I remember that at the beginning, during the regional competitions, I only reached about fifth place. After hard training I am now at the top of the podium,” he added.
His teammate He went next in the men’s 70kg final, and the 23-year-old defeated Iranian Hamidreza Sahandi by the same result.
“My coach told me before the final that I don’t need to worry if I lose,” He said. “He advised me to be careful and not to fall into opponent’s trap. Don’t think that your opponent is very strong, because you are the one that really is.
“For me, victory in front of my local people is an honour. Now I just want to tell this happy news to the people who care about and support me. I want to show them that our effort reaped the fruits now.”
Li Zhiqin, in women’s 60kg, and Liu Wenlong, in men’s 80kg, were the other Chinese fighters crowned on Thursday.
The other gold medals went to Indonesia, courtesy of Tharisa Dea Florentina and Laksmana Pandu Pratama, in women’s and men’s 52kg.
Without surprise, China dominated the six-day wushu competition in Chengdu, winning 11 of 20 gold medals.