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A blast from the past tells his story

11-12-2010 16:26 BJT Special Report:Guangzhou Asian Games |

Thirty-six years ago, a 25-year-old Chinese pistol shooter named Su Zhibo signaled China's emergence on the international stage by picking up the country's first Asian Games gold at the 1974 Teheran event.

Su Zhibo won the 1974 Asian Games men's free pistol gold medal In Teheran
to become China's first gold medalist at an Asiad. (Photo/China Daily)

Now, Guangzhou hosts China's second Asian Games, Su dusts off those old memories for China Daily.

The history-maker won three gold medals and a bronze in Teheran, but he received no prize money, only a certificate of merit.

"People were really simple in those days, I never thought of a salary or getting prize money," Su said, "I was just very happy that I didn't disappoint my countrymen."

Four years later, Su stood atop the podium twice at the Bangkok Games, and was among the first group of sportsmen to receive the honorary badge of sports issued by the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission.

"I remembered I was awarded 300 yuan ($45) and I was very satisfied," he said.

In the 1970s, the training and competition conditions for Chinese athletes were vastly different from today.

"Nowadays, athletes even have special-made podium-wear," said the 61-year-old. "I only got two suits during those years. We wore the Chinese tunic suit when walking into the stadium at the Opening Ceremony, and pinned a national emblem to our sportswear when accepting a prize," he said.

He also said the shooters struggled with their tools of the trade.

"We had to repair the pistols from time to time in 1974, because those of small caliber were all old ones made long ago," said Su, whose pistol stopped working the night before the shooting final at the 1974 event. "Luckily, the coach worked on it all night, so I could join the final with a well-fixed pistol."

In Los Angeles, Xu turned a new page for Chinese sport by becoming the country's first Olympic gold medalist.

"Maybe it was destiny," said Su, who retired as the National Shooting Team's Manager in 2009. "I was dedicated to shooting for more than 40 years. I have no regrets."

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: China Daily

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