The Sixth National Games started off with a grand opening ceremony in south China's Guangzhou, usually called the City of Five Rams, on November 20, 1987. Here, commercial flower- growing has become a flourishing undertaking, with flower shops and stalls lining the city's main streets.
Three days before the Games, a torch ignition ceremony was held in Beijing' Tiananmen Square.
Ignited by Wan Li, who was then Vice- Premier and Chairman of the Sixth National Games presidium, the torch was delivered to Guangzhou for the opening ceremony in the newly-built Tianhe Sports Centre. Wan Li, Tian Jiyun and other leaders were president together with IOC President Samaranch and over 1,000 distinguished guests from other countries and from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. After an opening speech by Wan Li, the more 60,000 spectators watched the performance of the group calisthenics Lofty Aspirations.
Some 8,000 athletes competed in 44 events for 344 gold medals up for grabs. They made brilliant achievements, breaking or surpassing 17 WRs, 48 ARs or Asian best marks and 85 national records or national best marks. Thus the Sixth National Games bid fair to go down in China's sports history as a tournament with the greatest number of WRs and ARS chalked up.
The new world record holders included: Chen Yunling of Liaoning who won the women's 10000m walk with the record time of 43: 52.1, He Zhuoqiang of Guangdong who won the snatch and two- lift total by lifting 117.5kg and 265kg respectively in the men's 52kg class, and He Yingqiang, also from Guangdong, who won the snatch with a lift of 133.5kg in the men's 56kg class.
The 16-day Games saw a few "firsts" of the National Games. It was the first National Games hosted by a province, with different stages of competition held in Guangzhou, which was the main venue, and nine other cities in the province and with the necessary funds collected through public fund raising. It was the first National Games that had a mascot. It was the first time that various new types of electronic equipment were used including an electronic scoreboard and a large- scale TV screen. And, most importantly, it was the first time that different scoring methods were adopted for Olympic and non- Olympic events, with more points for Olympic events in determining team standing. This practice was a manifestation of the importance attached to the Olympic Games.