The chaotic "cultural revolution", which lasted from 1966 to 1976, dealt a severe blow to the development of sports which had just got off to a good start. Competitive sports stagnated and the National Games were suspended for as long as 10 years.
In 1970, Premier Zhou Enlai affirmed the achievements made in sports in the first 17 years of the People's Republic and, overcoming obstacles from various quarters, decided that the Chinese national table tennis team should participate in the 31st World Table Tennis Championships in Japan. With the support of Premier Zhou, the promotion of sports was soon back on the right track, and the Third National Games were held in Beijing on September 12-28, 1975.
At the Games, participants competed in 28 events. In addition, there were eight events for the junior competitors as well as such demonstration events as horsemanship, springboard jumping, folk wrestling, parachuting, aeromodels, model ship and motorbike racing.
At the opening ceremony, 2,300 youngsters, athletes and soldiers from the People's Liberation Army performed a large-scale mass calisthenics Ode to the Five-Star Red Flag. The number of participants in the Games topped 14,600, including 10,669 athletes from 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. In addition, 84 distinguished guests from 19 countries and regions came to Beijing to watch the Games at the invitation of the Organizing Committee.
The athletes were in high spirits and did their very best to get good results. In the end, however, only the contestants in shooting succeeded in breaking three world records and equaling another world record. In addition, 83 athletes in 49 teams bettered six national records, and 36 athletes in four teams broke 58 national junior records. The results were not as good as expected, which showed that the national sports level was as a whole seriously affected by the "cultural revolution." Most of the newcomers failed to get satisfactory results because they lacked a solid foundation in basic skills. This notwithstanding, a number of promising young athletes were spotted and later taken on for training to carry on the cause of their seniors.
The top three teams at the Games were Guangdong (44 golds), Beijing (43 golds) and Shanghai (26 golds).