China's rapid growth in boxing is a real success story and proves the fact that hard work really does pay off. The story began in 2001, when China received the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and its National Boxing Federation took heed to increase the knowledge of their athletes.
Qualified and experienced coaches from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan helped the Chinese national boxing squad in the international tournaments and at the 2002 Asian Games, where the country achieved three bronze medals and their young fighters were impressive throughout the event. From there, what started as narrow losses soon became triumphant victories and a successful series of Chinese boxers began to arise from then on.
The first medal in a worldwide event was achieved by Zou Shiming at the 2003 AIBA World Championships in Bangkok and soon after he also claimed the first ever Chinese boxing medal at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Following these silver and bronze medals, Zou Shiming secured his first ever gold medal at the 2005 AIBA World Championships in front of his home crowd in Mianyang.
In the most recent Olympic era, the Chinese boxers joined the top boxing nations'table after securing nine out of ten possible quota places for the Olympics. At the Beijing Olympic Games, China topped the team rankings and next to Zou Shiming, Light Heavyweight Zhang Xiaoping also claimed a gold medal, while super heavyweights Zhang Zhilei and Hanati Silamu secured even more medals for the Asian country.
Since then, veteran Zou Shiming has continued his career and become the first ever Light Flyweight boxer on earth to achieve three World Championships titles in his weight class. His 21-year-old compatriot, Wang Xuanxuan was part of the national elite team in 2011 and secured a silver medal at the Asian Championships. The young Heavyweight boxer also claimed a bronze at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku.
The third Olympic quota for the London Olympic Games was acquired by Chinese No.1 Light Heavyweight Meng Fanlong. In light of the upcoming Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament, China's Asian Champion, Chang Yong, former Asian Games winner Hu Qing, Xinjiang-based Asian Champion Maimaitituersun Qiong and AIBA World Championship bronze medallist Zhang Zhilei all have good chances of reaching the quota for London in Astana, Kazakhstan.
China's top female fighters are some of the world's best and they will most likely be able to secure the maximum of three women quotas at the upcoming 7th AIBA Women's World Championships, to be held on home soil. In fact, two-time AIBA World Champion Ren Cancan, Asian Games winner Cheng Dong and former AIBA World Champion Li Jinzi are the best Chinese boxers in their Olympic weight classes and each of them have more than a good chance of realising their Olympic dreams.
The country's next generation of female fighters also has some excellent boxers, part of the squad are three AIBA Youth World Champions; Zhang Yibo, Niu Lili and Yuan Meiqing. The Chinese National Games, which is the country's biggest multi-sport event and is held every four years, has been scheduled for 2013. The winners of that event will be the new rising stars of Chinese boxing.
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