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Ma Yanhong
2003-11-04 10:21:00   COC Website  


Name: MA Yanhong
Gender: W
Date of birth: 1964
Place of birth: Beijing
Sport: Gymnastics
Personal best: 1984 Olympic Games - 1st uneven bars

Sports career: 
Took up gymnastics in Beijing's Shishahai spare-time sports school at age eight. Joined the Army's "August 1st" team in 1975 and the national gymnastics team in 1978. Known for her original UB stunt of "hecht back salto with full turn to dismount".

High performances:
1978 Asian Games - 1st uneven bars
1979 World Championships - 1st uneven bars (China's first world title in gymnastics)
1981 World Championships - 2nd uneven bars, 4th all-around, 5th floor exercise
1984 Los Angels Olympic Games - 1st uneven bars, 3rd women's team, 5th balance beam 

1981 & 1984 - Twice awarded National Sports Medal of Honour by the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission
1984 - Voted one of 35 Sports Stars in 35 years since the founding of new China in 1949
1984 - Named "Model Athlete" and Cited for First-Class Military Exploit by the General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army of China
1989 - Voted one of 40 Sports Stars in 40 years since the founding of new China in 1949
Named National "March 8th" Red-Banner Holder by the All-China Women's Federation
Named Shock Worker of the New Long March by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China

A key member of the Chinese national women's gymnastics team during the late '70s and early '80s, Ma Yanhong first earned a name for herself by winning the uneven bars title at the 20th World Championships at the age of 15 to become China's first world champion in gymnastics. For her stunning performances in a number of major international competitions she was described as a "fairy primrose" for China's fast development in the sport.

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