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Loisel Escaping the Axe?

Sunday, 24th February 2008 ~ Maggie ~ Link ~ Comments (0)

Going into the East Asian Cup, Chinese media was abuzz with the inevitability of the demise of Elisabeth Loisel, the French coach brought in last fall to replace her Swedish predecessor as head coach of the women's national soccer (football) team. In the weeks leading up to the cup in Chongqing, she'd been fined by the club for tardiness, and offended officials by forbidding players from attending a hot pot dinner they were hosting. Win the tournament, the conventional wisdom was, and she just might keep her job. Well, China didn't win. They looked in good form beating South Korea and then went on to tie North Korea. But then they lost 3-0 to Japan.

In the two days after the loss, no word is out on her status and Loisel spoke to the media about her hopes for the Olympics in August. Have the problems been sorted out, or are team officials just waiting to see how the team fares in the upcoming Algarve Cup in Portugal?

Here is the Agence France-Presse story of Loisel's reaction to the East Asian Cup loss.

Tags: football, Loisel, soccer, women

Welcome to China Sports Today!

Wednesday, 20th February 2008 ~ Maggie ~ Link ~ Comments (0)

China Sports Today is your link to the vast and growing world of sports in China. Whether you are a journalist looking for the names of China's top table tennis (ping pong) players, a rugby player looking for a team to play with in Shanghai or a sports fan coming to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing next August, you will soon be able to find the answers to your questions here.

Over the coming weeks, you will see our content grow a lot. Every day, we will bring you news from China's sports and sports marketing world. You will soon see a China sports calendar with everything from marathons and road races you can compete in, to China Basketball Association games you can go and watch. You will also see guides to various sports in China, from primers on China's badminton and diving success to histories of the efforts of the NBA, NFL and NHL in China.

Watch these pages for coverage of the various Good Luck Beijing Test Events for the 2008 Olympics, and the skinny on China's efforts to top the medal standings as it hosts the 2008 games.

Tags: china, launch, sports, welcome

Around the Web: Curling, diving and basketball

Thursday, 1st January 1970 ~ Maggie ~ Link ~ Comments (0)

China's women's curling team accepts a gold medal.
China's women's curling team accepts a gold medal.
China wins curling worlds

China likes gold medals. Exhibit A: Its state sports system has produced a world champion curling team seemingly out of nowhere. China beat out Canada for the gold over the weekend to win the Women's World Curling Championships in South Korea. Last year's silver was China's first medal in the 30-year history of the tournament. Canadian Daniel Rafael coaches the team, which was started in 2001. The team skip, Wang Bingyu (王冰玉), hails from China's far-north, famously frozen city of Harbin and has been on the team since it was created. A look at her Wikipedia entry will give you an idea how rapid the ascent of China's curling team has been.

Divers go 7 for 8 at Changzhou

China's divers took seven out of eight golds at the FINA World Grand Prix event in Changzhou over the weekend. The only event that China conceded was the women's three-meter springboard. Sharleen Stratton of Australia won that one after China's Wu Minxia failed to qualify for the final. China's top female three-meter diver, Guo Jingjing, did not compete. Two dates remain on the 2009 Grand Prix circuit--Sheffield, England, on April 18-19; and Mexico City April 24-25.

New coach for women's basketball

China named Sun Fengwu head coach of its national women's basketball program. He replaces Australian Tom Maher, who led the team to a fourth-place Olympic finish and also seems to have been quite well-liked by players and fans. Sun was a point guard for China's men's team in the 1980s and led China's women's youth team to a bronze at the 2002 world championships. The pressure is on for Sun to lead the team to a medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, but in his more immediate sights are the following competitions:

Asian Championships in Chinese Taipei starting June 21
World Championships in Czech Republic, September 23 to October 3, 2010
Asian Games in Guangzhou, November 2010

The team will look pretty different by 2012, Sun told Xinhua. He expects that only three to five players from the current squad will still be around then.

Yao Ming gets waxed

Madame Tussaud's Shanghai's wax sculpture of Yao Ming is currently on loan to Madame Tussaud's in New York. Wax Yao, whose height reportedly called for the use of scaffolding in the construction process, was unveiled with a show featuring a troupe of Chinese acrobats. Personally, the place creeps me out and in five years in New York, I never set foot inside. But apparently the new Madame Tussaud's Sports Zone offers activities like playing Wii tennis with Billie Jean King. Maybe, just maybe, that could draw me in. (Note to Western journalists: If you want to call the guy by his surname, it's Yao, not Ming.)

Curling team image: Sina.com

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