17 May, 2019

Chinese stars ready to celebrate Shanghai’s Diamond League decade

  • Su Bingtian at the press conference of the 2019 IAAF Diamond League Shanghai

Four of China’s biggest stars talked to the media on Friday about their hopes and expectations at the 10th Shanghai Diamond League meeting on Saturday, 18 May.

Sprinter Su Bingtian is set to face USA’s world indoor champion Christian Coleman in a nine-strong field of sub-10 second men. The Guangzhou native lowered his national record to 9.91 last summer and twice equalled the Asian record before taking 100m gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta in August.

World champion Gong Lijiao has her sights on a fifth Shanghai shot put victory, and a 20th consecutive career win after claiming the Asian Championship gold in Doha last month.

High jumper Wang Yu is looking for his first Shanghai victory after placing second here two years ago. The Asian champion faces a world-class line-up containing six men who leapt 2.35m or higher.

Wei Yongli faces a formidable field in the women’s 100m on her sixth Shanghai appearance. She has targeted her 2018 personal best of 10.99 seconds.

 

Here’s what they said:

 

Su Bingtian (CHN), men’s 100m

On whether he’s ready to run quicker than 10 seconds on Saturday:

“Physically I am able to do that. Last year I ran 9.91 twice and 9.92 once, so I am physically ready. But to achieve your personal best you need a good race and good conditions. I don’t know if I can do that tomorrow. I hope so.

On his highlights from previous Shanghai Diamond League meetings:

“I first appeared at the meeting in 2011 and have missed a few over the 10 years, but each time I did better than the previous time so I hope this year I can achieve my PB. My lower target is to run 10.05 to win a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.”

On an injury to his waist which forced him to miss last month’s Asian Championships:

“I suffered some minor injury so I missed the championships but it’s nothing major and I have fully recovered.”

On facing Coleman (USA) on Saturday:

“He is a very talented and very good athlete just like me. So tomorrow it will be a rivalry and I hope I can challenge him.”

 

Gong Lijiao (CHN), women’s shot put

On her form and aims for the 2019 Shanghai Diamond League:

“I’ve made frequent appearances at this meeting; I have lost count of how many times.

 “Next year we have the Tokyo Olympic Games and this year late in the season we have the Doha World Championships, so I have to plan to reach my best form later this year. So my target in Shanghai this year is 19 metres. It won’t be my best, but still 19m is my aim.”

On her memories of previous Shanghai Diamond League appearances and hopes for 2019:

“I have competed her six times and I think I’ve won four or five. This is a great event in scale, quality and service so I hope I can stay in form for 20 years and come back in 20 years time to compete again. I think it will go on and on.”

 

 Wang Yu (CHN), men’s high jump

On his memories of previous Shanghai Diamond League appearances and hopes for 2019:

“On my first appearance I was fourth, on my second I was third, and last time I was second … so you know what’s going to happen this year.”

 

Wei Yongli (CHN), women’s 100m

 On her memories of previous Shanghai Diamond League appearances and hopes for 2019:

“This is my sixth appearance since my first in 2012 and I hope to get a personal best tomorrow. I wish for another 10 years of Shanghai Diamond Leagues, maybe even more.”