Exploring the world of Chinese Martial Arts

2013 All China Games Women’s Wushu Qualifiers in Ningbo

2013 All China Games Women’s Wushu Qualifiers in Ningbo

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Ningbo city in Zhejiang province during the 2013 All China Games Wushu Qualifiers for women.  (Well, technically it wasn’t just for women, but I’ll get to that in a minute.)

During my time there I sent daily updates and exclusive videos to members of the newsletter.  If you’d like to receive these sorts of things in the future, then be sure to sign up for the newsletter and get in on the action.

So, this blog is a compilation of the content that I sent to the Newsletter members, along with a few other random thoughts about the competition that I wanted to add.

I will also soon be releasing the videos from this competition for you to download.  14 different events with an average of 25 athletes per event means a whole lot of wushu footage for you to sink you teeth in to.  Keep your eyes peeled here at wushuzilla over the next week to learn more.

In the meantime, let’s get down to the details of this competition

The Competition Format

This competition was the wushu qualifiers for women who want to compete at the All China Games being held in Liaoning province in the fall of 2013.

For those of you who don’t know, the All China Games is essentially the Chinese National olympics.  Every four years all of the sports in China compete in a best-of-the-best competition.  They take this competition almost as seriously as they take the Olympics (and we all know how seriously they take that competition!) so this is no small matter.

And the prizes are usually pretty substantial for the All China Games.  In previous years they’ve given away homes and huge cash prizes to the winners.  Adding to that is the fact that there are a reduced number of medals awarded for wushu athletes, and you get a huge amount of pressure on the athletes to perform at the top of their game.

In fact, most athletes use this as their last competition prior to retirement from competitive sports.  So they all want to go out with a big impact.

When I mention that there are reduced medals, I really mean it.  A normal Chinese wushu national competition has 11 or 12 medals for both men and women (Changquan, Nanquan, Taiji Quan, Jianshu, Qiangshu, Daoshu, Gunshu, Nandao, Nangun, Taiji Jian, Duilian and sometimes a group set).  Lots of chances for gold medals, right?

But for the All China Games there are only 7 medals to go around.  In total.  In order to do this they combine the events together so that athletes have to compete in multiple events and the tally of their scores determines their final ranking.  Here is the breakdown of combined events for the 2013 All China Games:

Men’s Combined Events

  • Changquan, Daoshu, Gunshu
  • Taiji Quan, Taiji Jian
  • Nanquan, Nandao, Nangun

Women’s Combined Events

  • Changquan, Jianshu, Qiangshu
  • Taiji Quan, Taiji Jian
  • Nanquan, Nandao, Nangun

Men and Women’s Combined Events

  • Men’s Jianshu & Qiangshu, Women’s Daoshu & Gunshu, Men’s 3-person Duilian, Women’s 2-person Duilian

That last one is a bit confusing and it took some serious weixin-ing back and forth with Yang Yu Hong for me to figure it out.  But basically every athlete in those last 6 events is competing against all the other athletes.  The athlete or duilian team with the best score wins the medal.  So, in other words, it is:

Men’s JS/QS vs. Women’s DS/GS vs. Men’s 3-Person Duilian vs. Women’s 3-Person Duilian.

Yeah, I know.  It’s weird, right?  That’s what happens when you only have 7 medals to distribute between so many types of events.

So, these qualifiers are to find out which of the athletes will qualify for the All China Games.  Based on the results of these competitions, you get the top 12 who will go on to compete later this year.

So, yeah.  The pressure is really high.  And all the athletes are working their tails off to do the best job possible so that they can get in the coveted top 12 positions for All China Games.

Day 1 Report

On the first day of competition, something interesting happened.  In the morning I saw men competing in Jianshu!

‘Wait a second’, I thought, ‘Isn’t this a women’s qualifiers?’  And indeed, looking at the sign on the wall, that is what it said.

I asked some athletes what was going on and they said that, due to the large number of men who will be competing at the men’s qualifiers, the Chinese Wushu Association had to put the men’s Jianshu, Qiangshu and 3-Person Duilian events in Ningbo.

That means there will be a LOT of those other events at the men’s qualifiers in Taiyuan in May.

So, today’s events, spread out over 3 sessions during the day, were as follows:

Morning (09:00)

  • Women’s Changquan
  • Men’s Jianshu

Afternoon (14:30)

  • Women’s Jianshu
  • Women’s Gunshu

Evening (19:00)

  • Women’s Qiangshu

Both the Men’s Jianshu and Women’s Gunshu divisions were less than 20 people, but the Women’s CQ,JS and QS had over 30 competitors so it was quite a wushu gore fest.

Here are the top 3 results for each (I’m still compiling all of the final results so it will take a few days for that):

Women’s Changquan

  1. Kan Wen Cong (Hebei) 9.71
  2. Zhao Shi (Shanxi) 9.71
  3. Shen Guan Mei (Jiangsu) 9.67

Men’s Jianshu

  1. Yu Te (Zhejiang) 9.71
  2. Ma Yong (Henan) 9.68
  3. Peng Ao Feng (Shanghai) 9.68

Women’s Jianshu

  1. Kan Wen Cong (Hebei) 9.72
  2. Zhao Shi (Shanxi) 9.70
  3. Ma Ling Juan (Anhui) 9.69

Women’s Gunshu

  1. Cheng Cheng (Zhejiang) 9.71
  2. Hou Tian Qi (Shanghai) 9.68
  3. Zheng Shao Yi (Ningxia) 9.67

Women’s Qiangshu

  1. Ma Ling Juan (Anhui) 9.71
  2. Kan Wen Cong (Hebei) 9.70
  3. Zhao Shi (Shanxi) 9.69

So, that means the combined score top three for CQ-JS-QS are:

  1. Kan Wen Cong (Hebei) 29.13
  2. Zhao Shi (Shanxi) 29.10
  3. Shen Guan Mei (Jiangsu) 29.01

And here are a few other popular athletes who made the top 12 for CQ-JS-QS:

  • Ma Ling Juan (Anhui) 28.98
  • Fan Jiao Jiao (Shandong) 28.88
  • Pan Xie (Shanghai) 28.85
  • Liu Xia (Hebei) 28.79

A lot of people also asked about Luo Hong (Beijing) in Men’s Jianshu.  He ended up with a 9.63 and got 7th place.

Here is a few sneak peak videos I sent out to the Nanquan Scream subscribers.

first up is is Zhao Shi (Shanxi) with her 9.71 Changquan routine.

Next is Yu Te (Zhejiang) with his 9.71 Jianshu routine:

Here is Luo Hong (Beijing), who seems to be quite popular with you online folks:

And finally here is Wang Fei (Shandong) with his Jianshu.  He ended up in 4th place with a 9.67.

I also took some photos on Day 1 and live-tweeted them through Instagram.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Day 2 Report

On Day 2 we had some more of the same.  Here is the schedule of events on the second day of competition:

Morning (09:00)

  • Women’s Nangun
  • Men’s Qiangshu

Afternoon (14:30)

  • Women’s Nandao
  • Women’s Daoshu

Evening (19:00)

  • Women’s Nanquan

So, whereas Day 1 was all about the Changquan combined events, Day 2 was all about the southern events.  It must have been pretty tiring for the athletes, since they all had to compete 3 times in a single day, whereas the Daoshu/Gunshu women and Jianshu/Qiangshu men just had to compete once a day.

Here are the top 3 results from Day 2:

Women’s Nangun

  1. Wei Hong (Liaoning) 9.68
  2. Tang Lu (Shanghai) 9.66
  3. Bian Ru Yan (Guandong) 9.61

Men’s Qiangshu

  1. Yu Te (Zhejiang) 9.71
  2. Su Bao Cheng (Tianjin) 9.70
  3. Ma Yong (Henan) 9.68

Women’s Nandao

  1. Lin Fan (Fujian) 9.71
  2. Wei Hong (Liaoning) 9.68
  3. Liu Jin Xia (Sichuan) 9.64

Women’s Daoshu

  1. Chen Hui Yin (Fujian) 9.69
  2. Hou Tian Qi (Shanghai) 9.68
  3. Zheng Shao Yi (Ningxia) 9.67

Women’s Nanquan

  1. Wei Hong (Liaoning) 9.68
  2. Tang Lu (Shanghai) 9.66
  3. Li Yi Yi (Tianjin) 9.65

Here is the combined NQ-ND-NG top 3 finalists who will compete at All China Games:

  1. Wei Hong (Liaoning) 29.04
  2. Tang Lu (Shanghai) 28.88
  3. Bian Ru Yan (Guangdong) 28.84

I know what you’re probably thinking: ‘What happened to Lin Fan (Fujian)?’, and the short answer is that she messed up some nandu on Nangun and Nanquan.  But she made the top 12 so she gets a crack at the All China Games title (the only championship title she’s never received, in fact).

  • Zhao Wen Wen (Ningbo) 28.73
  • Lin Xia (Fujian) 28.65
  • Wu Qian Bin (Army) 28.64
  • Lin Fan (Fujian) 28.63
  • Zhang Mei (Hebei) 28.52

I felt bad for Wei Hai Lin (Jiangsu), who didn’t make the top 12.  Which is sorta sad since she was the “Nanquan Queen” in the King of Kings competition last year.

I also was bummed about Xie Wei Wei (Shanghai) who, personally, I think is one of the better nanquan athletes around right now.  But she messed up a bit and didn’t make it.  Kinda sucks though because I really like her stuff.

The following are more sneak peek videos I sent out to members of the Nanquan Scream.

Yu Te (Zhejiang) with a 9.71 in Qiangshu

Chen Hui Yin (Fujian) with her awesome daoshu routine (She’s one of my favorites right now).

Lin Fan (Fujian) with her well-executed 9.71 nandao routine:

Finally Wang Fei (Shandong) with his Qiangshu. 4th place again with a 9.67.

Here are some of the photos I took on Day 2.

You can see that I got to meet up with a few wushu folks during the day too, which was nice.  It is always pleasant to see familiar faces.

Luo Hong (Beijing) after he competed in Jianshu and Qiangshu
My taiji buddy from the Shaanxi Wushu Team
2013 Women’s Wushu Qualifiers in Ningbo
An athlete in mid-twist
Liu Xia from Hebei competing in Women’s Qiangshu
Lin Fan (Fujian) competing in Women’s Nangun
Athletes lining up to salute the judges before the Women’s nanquan division

 Day 3 Report

By the time Day 3 came around I was pretty wiped out.  I was only getting about 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night and Taiji isn’t really a big jolt of excitement — mainly because of that sleepy music that goes along with it.  But here are the event schedules for the last day of competition:

Morning (09:00)

  • Women’s Taiji Quan

Afternoon (14:30)

  • Women’s Taiji Jian

Evening (19:00)

  • Men’s 3-Person Duilian
  • Women’s 2-Person Duilian

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the highlight of the day was the Duilian events in the evening.  Especially those crazy men’s 3-person duilian routines with all the throwing and flipping around.  But Taiji wasn’t too terrible either.  Here are the results for the top 3 in these divisions:

Women’s Taiji Quan

  1. Li Jian Fang (Yunnan) 9.66
  2. Wu Xue Qin (Hubei) 9.64
  3. Wen Na (Shaanxi) 9.64

Women’s Taiji Jian

  1. Wu Xue Qin (Hubei) 9.64
  2. Zhou Li (Shanghai) 9.63
  3. Yu Meng Meng (Tianjin) 9.61

Men’s 3-Person Duilian

  1. Zhejiang 9.69
  2. Tianjin 9.67
  3. Ningxia 9.66

Unfortunately I didn’t get the final results for the women’s 2-person duilian.  I haven’t had time to go through all my footage to find it, but I’ll post it up here once I have it available.

The combined women’s Taiji Quan and Taiji Jian results were as follows:

  1. Wu Xue Qin (Hubei) 19.28
  2. Li Jian Fang (Yunnan) 19.21
  3. Yu Meng Meng (Tianjin) 19.21

And a few other notables who will be in the All China Games:

  • Li Xin Yu (Beijing) 19.20
  • Wen Na (Shaanxi) 19.17
  • Zhou Li (Shanghai) 19.16

Again, I got some videos and put them up as a sneak peek for the Nanquan Scream folks.  Here they are:

Wu Xue Qing (Hubei) – Taiji Quan

Li Jian Fang (Yunnan) – Taiji Quan

Wu Xue Qing (Hubei) – Taiji Jian

Li Jian Fang (Yunnan) – Taiji Jian

And finally, this is actually from Day 1 of the competition.  I got one of the men’s duilian team’s practicing their form and posted it up.  This is pretty much the same thing that they did in the actual competition except without the snazzy outfits and a different final “death” sequence.

You will notice that I did a few collage images.  I was also simul-posting to Weixin for friends from the Shaanxi Wushu Team and Shanghai Wushu Team so that they could know how their teammates were doing.

Li Xin Yu (Beijing) – Taiji Quan
Wen Na (Shaanxi) – Taiji Quan
Taiji Jian
Taiji Jian
Zhou Li (Shanghai) – Taiji Jian
Li Xin Yu (Beijing) – Taiji Jian
Chengdu’s Long Jiao Er performing Taiji Jian
Taiji Quan

What is next?

So, now that the Women’s (and a few men’s) All China Games Wushu Qualifiers is finished, what is next?

On May 13-15 in Taiyuan, Shanxi, the Men’s All China Games Wushu Qualifiers will be held.  This is probably going to be a monster of an event because they had to move a bunch of events off to the competition in Ningbo.  It looks like the following events will be held:

  • Changquan
  • Daoshu
  • Gunshu
  • Nanquan
  • Nandao
  • Nangun
  • Taiji Quan
  • Taiji Jian

There are probably going to be 30-40 athletes in each division, which means it will be a loooooong day.

Will I be there?  For sure!  I gotta cheer on my friends.  Especially when I see how hard they’ve been training and working for this competition.

After Ningbo I visited some of my friends on the Shanghai Wushu Team and they were working hard.  Same goes for those on the Shaanxi or Beijing teams.  It should be a pretty amazing time, so if you can make it out, come on over!

Of course, I’m filming the whole thing, so I will not really be having any conversations so that I can focus on getting the footage.  But that doesn’t mean we can get a bite to eat, right? 😉

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