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Olympic champ wins judo gold at National Games

Xinhua/chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-09-04 16:15

SHENYANG, China - Beijing Olympics champion Yang Xiuli was pumped for information about her romantic life after she took her first National Games judo title.

Yang was asked whether she had started to consider her "personal life" following her 78kg victory on Tuesday night. In Chinese tradition, asking about other people's romantic life usually is acceptable although more and more young Chinese come to consider it an intrusion of their privacy.

Olympic champ wins judo gold at National Games

Beijing Olympics champion Yang Xiuli, second left, takes her first National Games judo title following her 78kg victory in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning province, Sept 3, 2013. Yang Jie, left, from Tianjin earned the silver medal, and the bronze medal went to Ding Yuping and Zhang Zhehui from Jiangsu province. [Photo/CFP]

"I haven't. And no one sets me up with anyone," said the champion, whose daily training before the London Olympic Games involved wrestling with 13 male sparring partners.

"I think fate will decide when to meet my Mr Right. I believe heaven will prepare the best for me. I am waiting," said the 30-yera-old.

The age of 30 has a special meaning in this country as a Chinese saying goes that one should be established at 30. For women, however, thirty is an age when they are expected to get married and start a family.

But for Yang, whose London journey finished with a disappointing seventh, romance is clearly a priority right now.

Lifting her first title after four attempts at the National Games, Yang was given a big boost in confidence and set her goal for the Olympic Games.

"My goal is to go to 2016 Rio Olympics," said Yang.

In the next three years, Yang will have to handle injuries with her age grows. She had a shoulder surgery ahead of the London Games, forced to be sidelined for six months.

And younger opponents can be a bigger threat. Last National Games champion Zhang Zhehui, five years younger than Yang, will be one of the 78kg judokas competing for the Rio qualification and beaten finalist at these games Zhang Jie is another strong contender.

Yang said she was aware of all the challenges but a sense of responsibility kept her going.

"I will have a good job if I choose to retire. But I won't. I feel like I am helping promote the sport if I keep going," she said.

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