Triumph for Zhong Xingping and Dong Dong at the 2009 Chinese National Games

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HuangOctober 14, 2009: Zhong Xingping (Guangdong) edged Li Dan (Guangdong) and Huang Shanshan (Fujian) to win the women’s individual trampoline competition of the 11th Chinese National Games held today in Jinan, Shandong. In a men’s individual trampoline final where two trampolinists competed 17.40 pt tariffs, Dong Dong (Shanxi) prevailed over Tu Xiao (Shanxi) and Lu Chunlong (Jiangsu). Overall, these Chinese National Games were almost undoubtedly the national competition with the highest level ever in trampoline history.
The third and final day of trampoline competition in the 11th Chinese National Games took place today at the Aoti Stadium in Jinan, Shandong.  Today’s schedule featured only the women’s and men’s individual trampoline finals.  No individual tumbling final is held at these Chinese National Games.  The Chinese National Games, also known as All China Games or National Games of the People’s Republic of China, are the most prestigious national competition in China.  It is a quadrennial multi-sport event similar to the Olympic Games, but at the Chinese scale.
The top 10 individual performers from the preliminaries qualified for the individual trampoline finals, with a limit of two per provincial team.  The scores were reset to zero for the final.
The individual finals were of a very high levels with eight women competing 14.0+ tariffs, and nine of the men attempting 16.20+ pt tariffs.  Six women in a row kicked off their routines with a half out triffis pike.  Two men competed 17.40 pt tariffs, including one starting with five triffises.
All in all, these Chinese National Games were almost undoubtedly the national competition with the highest level ever in trampoline history.  
In the women’s trampoline competition, 2007 Kunshan World Cup winner Zhong Xingping (Guangdong) prevailed with 39.00 pts.  It was the moment to shine for the very talented 22-year-old, who has been in the shadow of Olympic Champion He Wenna (Fujian) and 2004 Olympic medalist Huang Shanshan (Fujian) after barely missing the qualification to the Beijing Olympic Games to them.  Competing second to last in the final in Jinan after taking the second place of the preliminaries, Zhong Xingping chose to step up her difficulty to a 14.60 pt tariff featuring a half out triffis pike and a half out triffis tuck, up from a 14.00 pt tariff in the preliminaries.  She was the only one in the final to compete two triffises.  Her strategy paid off as her routine was performed with sterling execution, great height and fairly limited traveling, traveling outside the rectangle in the center of the trampoline bed on the third and fourth skills, but recovering nicely to finish the second half of the routine on the cross at the center of the bed.  Overall, Zhong, who had placed 3rd at the 2005 Chinese National Games, clinched the gold medal this time with 39.00 pts, and clearly showed that she would target the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships to be held next month in St Petersburg, Russia.
Guangdong’s triumph in this women’s individual trampoline final was completed by Li Dan (pictured right), who clinched the silver medal with a very strong routine.  Li Dan competed her traditional 14.60 pt tariff kicking off with a half out triffis pike.  She delivered her routine with great height as usual, but also with very little traveling as only one of her skills landed outside the rectangle in the center of the bed.  Li Dan’s execution was neat, and she scored 38.40 pts overall.  This silver medal was a nice bounce back for Li Dan, who had crashed at the recent Chinese National Championship Competition after dominating the preliminares.  This gold medal-silver medal triumph for the Guangdong team was a sweet bounce back from last night’s team final where Guangdong trampolinist Wu Chuwen, 16, had a very scary crash, and had to be taken to the hospital where, thankfully, no serious injury was diagnozed.  Wu Chuwen was actually released from the hospital the morning of the individual finals and is reportedly expected to resume training in two or three days.
The bronze medal of these 11th Chinese National Games wend to 2004 Olympic medalist Huang Shanshan (Fujian – pictured left), who was the defending Chinese National Games Champion.  Competing last in the final after dominating the preliminaries, Huang Shanshan opted to perform the 14.30 pt tariff kicking off with half out triffis tuck that she had performed in the preliminaries rather than increase her difficulty.  The 2007 World silver medalist and 2008 World Cup Final winner, who won the two most recent World Cups, delivered a quality routine with nice execution, but she suffered from just a little traveling, landing the fourth skill outside the rectangle in the center of the bed.  As a result, she scored 38.00 pts, and had to settle for the bronze medal.
Li Meng had to settle for the 4th place of these Chinese National Games with 37.80 pts, just 0.20 pts off Huang Shanshan’s bronze medal.  She may actually have deserved a little better.  Li Meng delivered a nice routine with good execution and fairly limited traveling as all her skills landed within the rectangle in the center of the bed.  Unfortunately, her very relative lack of difficulty (14.00 pt tariff kicking off with half out triffis pike) is what may have cost her the medal.  Olympic Champion and real celebrity in China He Wenna (Fujian) was a relative disappointment in the final as she placed only 5th with 37.50 pts.  He Wenna was competing right after Li Meng, and just before Zhong Xingping and Huang Shanshan as she had taken the 3rd place of the preliminaries.  Coming off a great performance the day before in the team finals where she delivered the best routine, she encountered more struggles in today’s final.  He Wenna suffered from a little traveling, mostly lateral traveling, while competing her traditional 14.20 pt tariff kicking off with half out triffis pike.  She maintained good height and great forms throughout the routine though.
The 6th place of the final went to Lin Min (Jiangsu), who performed a well-mastered routine with limited traveling that scored 36.95 pts (14.10 pt tariff kicking off with half out triffis tuck).  Lin Min performed the second half of her routine on the cross.  She barely edged international Jiang Yiqi (Shanghai), who came in 7th with 36.90 pts (14.00 pt tariff kicking off with half out triffis pike).  Jiang Yiqi performed a quality routine with nice forms, but experienced some traveling on the eighth skill.  Youngster Dong Yu (Shanxi) followed in 8th place with 36.10 pts (14.20 pt tariff kicking off with half out triffis pike) also due to some traveling towards the end of her routine.  Another youngster, Zhang Ying (Shanghai) came in 9th place with 34.45 pts due to a lower difficulty than the other finalists despite starting with a half out triffis tuck.  She also experienced a couple of traveling in the middle of her routine.  Zhang Yuanyuan (Shanxi) had to settle for the 10th place with 33.80 pts as she struggled, traveling throughout.  She also competed a lower difficulty than most of the finalists, actually kicking off her routine with an unusual back straight-double back tuck.
The final in the men’s competition also proved to be of a very high level as a few of the top trampolinists decided to raise their degree of difficulty.  Despite these attempts, Olympic medalist Dong Dong (Shanxi – pictured left), who had dominated the preliminaries and was competing last in the final, resisted these attempts and clinched the gold medal.  Dong Dong delivered an outstanding routine with almost flawless execution, great height, while staying in the center of the trampoline bed.  Actually, his first nine skills landed on the cross at the center of the trampolione bed, and his tenth skill landed not far from the cross.  He also maintained his amplitude throughout the routine.  Overall, Dong Dong scored 42.30 pts (16.60 pt tariff kicking off with three triffises).  It is a new significant gold medal for the 2007 World silver medalist and 2008 World Cup Final winner, who was also the winner of the most recent World Cup.
The silver medal of the men’s individual final went to another Shanxi trampolinist, namely Tu Xiao (pictured right), who is continuing on a streak of great results, just few weeks after winning World Cup medals.  Tu Xiao, who was competing third to last in the final, chose to increase his degree difficulty to 17.40 pts, thanks to a combination of triffises and skills with randy out systems.  Tu Xiao’s first five skills were half out triffis pike-half in half out triffis tuck-half out triffis tuck-half in randy out pike-randy out pike.  His seventh skill was a flawless full in randy out straight.  Tu Xiao jumped very high in this final, and managed to keep the traveling mostly under control, except on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th skills, despite the amplitude and the very high difficulty.  Overall, Tu Xiao scored 42.05 pts, and clinched a very good silver medal.  With this new great performance, Tu Xiao showed that any of the four men on the Chinese team at the upcoming World Championships has the potential to become individual World Champion. 
At the 10th Chinese National Games four years ago, Lu Chunlong (Jiangsu – pictured on the left), then 16, unexpectedly emerged to beat the favorites and be crowned Chinese National Games Champion.  Now Olympic Champion Lu Chunlong hoped to repeat his performance at the event that brought him under the limelights.  Unfortunately, after so-so preliminaries in Jinan, he was competing fifth in this final, which may have cost a little as all the top trampolinists were left to jump after him.  Lu Chunlong competed a very nice routine with height throughout managed to stay mostly in the center of the trampoline bed, with only the second skill landing outside the rectangle in the center of the trampoline bed.  Lu Chunlong scored 41.70 pts as he performed his traditional 16.60 pt tariff featuring three triffises at the beginning, and ended up with the bronze medal.
Competing right after Tu Xiao’s 17.40 pt routine that had allowed him to take the lead up to that point, World Champion Ye Shuai (Fujian – pictured right) decided to answer with a 17.40 pt routine of hiw own.  Ye Shuai started the routine extremely high, and completed it with good forms.  His routine kicked off with five triffises: rudy out triffis pike-half in half out triffis pike-half out triffis pike-half in half out triffis tuck-half out triffis tuck.  Unfortunately, he suffered from a little traveling within the rectangle, although he stayed within the rectangle, which cost him a few precious tenths.  In the end, Ye Shuai scored 41.10 pts, and had to settle for the 4th place, although he may have deserved better.  The 5th place of the final went to local hope Ning Wenlong (Shandong), who had a tremendous competition overall.  Ning Wenlong delivered a high quality routine mixing difficulty, execution, and amplitude.  He traveled outside the rectangle in the center of the trampoline bed only on his fourth skill.  Overall, he scored 40.55 pts (16.60 pt tariff kicking off with three triffises).  He was followed by Chen Shaobo (Shanghai), may be the most promising trampolinist of the new Chinese generation.  Chen Shaobo lacked a little height in comparison of some of the other trampolinists, but his performance remained of quality.  He took the 6th place with 40.10 pts (16.40 pt tariff kicking off with half out triffis pike and featuring a full in randy out straight as third skill).
Chen Shaobo barely edged fellow international Lou Ming (Shandong), who had the support of the crowd as he was competing right after Ning Wenlong and just before Tu Xiao, Ye Shuai, and Dong Dong.  Lou Ming delivered a pretty good routine that scored 40.00 pts (16.20 pt tariff with three triffises), but that was unfortunately not as brilliant as his optional in the preliminaries as three skills landed outside the rectangle in the center of the bed.  Lou Ming had to settle for the 7th place.  Chen Chen (Tianjin) delivered an ambitious routine, with good height but he suffered from some traveling, albeit mostly within the rectangle in the center of the bed, which caused him to place 8th with 39.15 pts (16.40 pt tariff kicking off with three triffises).  Zhou Kai (Guangxi) was the only trampolinist in this final not trying to compete a routine with a difficulty not at least equal to 16.20 pts.  Unfortunately, despite neat execution for most of the routine, Zhou Kai’s strategy did not pay off as he struggled on the 8th and 9th skills.  He ended up in 9th place with 38.25 pts (15.80 pt tariff featuring two triffises).  He was followed by the promising Gao Lei (Shanghai), who failed to complete his routine in the final, finishing 10th with 34.75 pts for a routine featuring two triffises.  Gao Lei struggled on his eighth and ninth skills and did not perform his last skill.     

Link to the detailed results     

Link to the official website