Liaoning played Xinjiang in the semifinals of a U-20 tournament at the National Games of China on Sunday, and the two sides managed to score one goal each in a mostly (we're guessing) sloppy, mistake-ridden, difficult-to-watch contest. There was one redeeming moment for us to treasure though. Let's go to the tape.
On the same day that saw a team take perhaps the most unsportsmanlike option possible in the face of defeat -- the women's rugby sevens team deciding to stop playing because they disagreed with a referee's decision, and losing 71-0 -- sportsmanship went ahead and redeemed itself with this story.
Bad calls happen in sports, we all know, but rarely does a team react like this.
In the finals of the women's rugby sevens competition at the 12th Chinese National Games on Tuesday in Shenyang, Liaoning province, Beijing went down two early unconverted tries, 10-0, against Shandong. Early in the second half, a Beijing player was shown a yellow card and sent off. While she was on the bench, Shandong scored another try -- though on a controversial play...
Fifth-seeded Li Na, playing with what she called nervous energy, beat 24th seed Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 yesterday to become the first Chinese player to ever reach the semifinals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
In an otherwise excellent piece on Chinese tennis star Li Na, Brook Larmer, writing in the New York Times, made one critical error, which Chinese media quickly pointed out. The offending passage originally read:
We haven't checked in with Jeremy Lin for a while, but it appears he's been busy. Currently in Taiwan, Lin gave an emotional speech at a youth camp recently about his struggles last season in his first full season as a starter. SI.com's Point Forward blog has this excerpt, via a two-hour video on YouTube.
Panagiotis Giannakis, former head coach of the Greek basketball team, arrived in May to begin a four-year contract to lead the Chinese basketball team through the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. As of this writing, however -- following a blowout loss to Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Championship two weeks ago -- it doesn't look like Giannakis will survive the month.
Kobe Bryant recently wrapped up his 8th China tour -- another successful one, judging by the response -- and as part of Nike's Mamba Mentality campaign, this ad was recently released exclusively in China.
It's all over but the crying for the Chinese basketball team at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship after a shocking 18-point defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals today. With Yi Jianlian scoring the first bucket and Zhu Fangyu and Wang Shipeng hitting shots from the outside, China jumped out to an 8-3, then 13-5 lead, and at one point in the 2nd quarter was up by 17. CCTV-5 commentators, openly rooting for China, said Taiwan ("Chinese Taipei") looked like "little brother playing big brother."
Liaoning Whowin played host to Shangai Shenhua on August 1 (yes, eight days ago; sorry, this is late), which wouldn't be worth mentioning if not for a terrible, terrible tackle that might be called straight-up assault if it didn't happen on a soccer pitch. (And if people in real life, hilariously, also could not use their hands.) You can watch it above, or look at the screenshots below to get an idea of how bad it was.
Only three more days remain in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, beginning with the quarterfinals today. Can Iran run the tables and finish undefeated? Can host Philippines get past its first-round matchup? Will South Korea's hot streak continue? Is Yi Jianlian completely recovered from an injury that forced him to sit four games?
To help us make sense of it all, here's Nick Bedard of Basketball Buddha.
Kobe Bryant is currently in China with Nike, for the eighth time, to "inspire young athletes." "As a key part of his tour, Bryant will surprise fans by dropping in at various basketball courts in each city to watch players who have heeded the call to come out and play basketball at night," Nike reports, so if you want a chance to meet Kobe, get out there and play basketball on your city's most popular court at night.
Sun Yang -- who might objectively be the best freestyle swimmer in the world -- pulled off a "miracle swim" even for his standards on Friday in the 4x200m freestyle relay at the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
Check out the video above. When Sun hits the water (lane 8, very bottom of the screen), his team's in fifth place and more than two seconds behind the third-place French. All he does is swim 200 meters in 1:43.96 and beat both the French (lane 6) and Japanese (lane 3) swimmers by a fingertip.
China got a wake-up call yesterday in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship in Manila, losing to South Korea 83-79. Today, it took out its frustration on Malaysia with a historic beating.
China scored the first 28 points. More than nine minutes lapsed before Malaysia made a bucket.
A lot of times in blowouts, a team will race ahead to a large deficit -- 40, maybe 50 points -- and then put it on cruise control. The overmatched but determined opponent will then shave the margin to a respectable 30 by game's end. This is not what happened here.
South Korea's not known for its basketball, but it made a huge statement in the opening game of the FIBA Asia Championship yesterday in Manila, beating the defending champs -- that's China -- 83-79 in a game that Nick Bedard of Buddha Basketball said kept "everyone... on the edge of their seats."
You could be forgiven for thinking that, entering its third and final match in the East Asian Cup on Sunday in Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul, China had already exceeded expectations. Its toughest tests came in the first two games of this four-team tournament, and it passed -- "won," one might say, in the way that soccer teams can win draws. It mustered a furious late rally to erase a 3-1 deficit against Japan last Sunday, then summoned an intense defensive effort to keep a fesity South Korean squad out of the net on Wednesday -- this from a team that gave its weary fans no reason to expect these results, having convincingly lost its three previous contests.
Belgian international Jan Vertonghen, a key piece in Tottenham's defense, suffered an ankle injury in the second half of a friendly at Hong Kong Stadium yesterday. He slipped on the watery turf and now may miss the start of the English Premier League campaign on August 18, depending on MRI results.
The Chinese soccer team pulled off another minor miracle on Wednesday night in its second match in the East Asian Cup, withstanding South Korea's relentless attacks and holding them to a scoreless draw in Hwaseong Stadium near Seoul. It was the second positive result this week -- on Sunday, China roared back from two goals down to tie Japan 3-3 in the final minutes, its first non-loss in four matches. Now, two non-losses in the last two. If these guys keep this up, movies will be made about them.