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Nation's athletes cheered for 'high spirit' at Games

By SUN XIAOCHEN/CAO YIN (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-23 07:10 Comments

Nation's athletes cheered for 'high spirit' at Games

Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi (Gold)

Track cycling: Women's team sprint

The first Olympic cycling gold medal won by the "Bicycle Kingdom" is also the first for an Asian nation. China previously won three silvers and two bronzes. CHINA DAILY

They 'presented positive attitude of today's China,' top leadership says

China's top leadership congratulated the country's athletes on Monday for their achievements at the Rio Olympics.

The Communist Party of China's Central Committee and the State Council sent a joint congratulatory message to the athletes that said: "You respected competitors, judges, audiences and rules, showing excellent sport skills and great competitive style. You presented the positive attitude of today's China and the high spirit of the Chinese people."

The leadership also encouraged the athletes to make efforts to achieve even better results and to help further motivate Chinese to participate in sports.

"We hope your achievements can further popularize sports, promote the combination of sports and fitness, and encourage more people to enjoy sports," the message said.

Despite ending its Rio Olympics campaign with the lowest gold haul since 1996, the Chinese delegation has plenty to cheer about, on and off the court.

As the Olympic flame was extinguished at Maracana Stadium on Sunday night, Team China concluded the 16-day competition at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with 26 gold medals. That put it in third place in the gold medal tally behind the United States, with 46, and Great Britain, 27.

China also won 18 silver and 26 bronze medals to finish second in the total medal count in Rio with 70, following the US delegation, which bagged a whopping 121.

The Rio Games marked some hard-earned victories in high-profile events and major breakthroughs in some less-developed sports.

As a huge audience watched back home, China's women's volleyball team overcame its wobbles in the group stage to clinch the final victory against Serbia on Saturday and take the gold, which it also had won in 1984 and 2004.

Following the unexpected victory, praise for the team's "never say die" spirit went viral on social media, with hundreds of millions of users posting compliments on the team's micro blog.

Cai Zhenhua, the country's vice-sports minister, said, "Hopefully, the women's volleyball team's fighting spirit will inspire other collective ball game squads to work harder."

In other highlights, the Chinese track cycling duo of Gong Jinjie and Zhong Tianshi, guided by French coach Benoit Vetu, won the women's team sprint gold medal on Aug 12, after setting a world record of 31.928 seconds in the first round.

It was the first cycling Olympic gold medal won by China, which is known as the "kingdom of bicycles".

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