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Yearender: Chinese sports 2017 year in review
Last Updated: 2017-12-28 08:02 | Xinhua
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Following are the top Chinese sports news items in 2017 selected by Xinhua News Agency (in time sequence):

1. Reforms deepened in various fields

The government-run Chinese Football Administrative Center was officially axed in January, one year after the Chinese Football association (CFA) was handed full power to run the game in the country. Basketball legend Yao Ming was unanimously elected president of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in February, before the CBA replaced the basketball administrative center in April as the governing body of the sport in China. Several famous retired athletes and coaches including Li Yan and Zhou Jihong were also elected to top posts at relevant sports associations amid a string of reforms in the sport sector.

2. Xinjiang crowned the CBA champions for 1st time

Xinjiang defeated Guangdong 4-0 in the best-of-seven series to win the 2016-2017 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league title in April. Xinjiang is the sixth team to win the league title in CBA's 22-year history. Bayi, Guangdong, Shanghai, Beijing and Sichuan had won the titles earlier.

3. Chinese football made steady progress

It is for the first time that three clubs from the Chinese Super League made it to the last 16 of the AFC Champions League when Shanghai SIPG, Guangzhou Evergrande and Jiangsu Suning all progressed through their respective groups in May.

China came from behind to beat Qatar 2-1 in the last round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September and finished fifth in the group. Despite failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals inRussia, the Chinese men's team coached by Italian Marcello Lippi impressed the fans with their tenacious fighting spirit.

4. 3 table tennis players fined for quitting the China Open

China's top three paddlers _ Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin forfeited their round of 16 matches at the ITTF China Open in June without approval of the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA). The Chinese team made an open apology to the public. The three players were fined 20,000 US dollars each by the ITTF in October.

5. Breakthrough in swimming, track and field events

Sun Yang won his third straight men's 400m freestyle title at the FINA World Championships in Budapest in July. He also captured the 200m freestyle gold in an Asian record time. Sun's compatriot Xu Jiayu became the first Chinese male swimmer to win a worlds title in backstroke events with victory in the 100m backstroke in Budapest.

China won two gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the World Athletics Championships in London in August, its best performance in the world championships since 1993. Olympic silver medalist Gong Lijiao clinched the gold medal in women's shot put in her sixth appearance in the world championships. Gong was also the first Chinese athlete to win a Diamond League trophy with victories in the Shanghai, Rome, Paris and Zurich legs.

6. Reforms undertaken in 13th National Games

The 13th National Games, billed as China's mini-Olympics, were held from August 27 to September 8 in Tianjin. During the 12-day competition, four world records, three Asian marks as well as 11 national and three national junior ones were broken in five sports _ shooting, weightlifting, cycling, athletics and swimming.

In a bold move to reform the National Games, the 13th edition opened its doors to amateur competitors in 19 events, including badminton, table tennis, marathon, sports climbing, roller skating, Taichi and Chinese chess. Another major change introduced to the National Games was that Chinese who have obtained foreign citizenship, foreign decedents of Chinese immigrants and Chinese citizens who are residing abroad were also allowed to compete at the Tianjin Games. In addition, the Tianjin Games encouraged athletes from different provinces, cities or autonomous regions to form a mixed team to participate.

7. China won FIVB World Grand Champions Cup

With six victories in a row, the Chinese women's team secured the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup title inJapanin September. China previously won the event in 2001. Chinese spiker Zhu Ting was named the MVP.

8. Chinese gymnast won men's all-around title in World Championships

Xiao Ruoteng and Lin Chaopan finished 1-2 for China in the men's all-around event in the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Montreal, Canada, in October. Xiao became the first Chinese after Yang Wei to win men's all-around title in world championships since 2007.

9. Feng Shanshan ranked world No. 1

Feng Shanshan rose to No. 1 in the world rankings following her victory in the Blue Bay LPGA event in Hainan, China, in November. The 28-year-old Guangzhou native was also the first golfer from the Chinese mainland to clinch the No. 1 spot.

10. Official emblems for Beijing 2022 Winter Games unveiled

The emblems for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, respectively named "Winter Dream" and "Flight," were unveiled in December.

With its origin in the Chinese character "dong" (winter), the Olympic emblem integrates the spirit of Chinese calligraphy and eastern cultural heritage with a modern, global style. The Paralympic emblem, oriented around the Chinese character "fei" (flight), is an abstract image of an athlete who is fighting for victory, highlighting the spirit of and inspiration for the Paralympic Winter Games.

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