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Interview: Wushu's Youth Olympic debut an important step of world recognition, says Secretary General

2020-01-09 14:29:00 Xinhuanet

LAUSANNE, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Wushu, widely known as Chinese Kungfu, is set to make its debut as an official sport at the 2022 Dakar Youth Olympic Games.

The Secretary General of the International Wushu Federation (IWF), Zhang Qiuping said in an interview with Xinhua that Wushu is not only a representative of Chinese traditional sports, but also a treasure of Chinese traditional culture. Wushu's entering of the Youth Olympic Games, he said, is a sign of the world's recognition.

Zhang said that the International Olympic Committee believes that Wushu is a youth-oriented sport that is consistent with the concept of the Youth Olympic Games.

Zhang noted that Wushu has become very popular all over the world now, especially in African countries, providing an especially good opportunity for Dakar in Senegal, where the Youth Olympic Games will be held in two years.

As the Secretary General of IWF and the President of Chinese Wushu Association, Zhang works for the promotion of Wushu alongside many Wushu experts.

"In the promotion of Wushu, we emphasize that Wushu is not for fighting, but for fitness. No matter who the opponent is, a boxing ceremony will be carried out at the beginning and the end, which is the embodiment of Wushu's philosophy and spirit," Zhang said.

"The aim of Wushu is to prevent the use of force," he added.

On its path to the Youth Olympic Games, Wushu has gone through ups and downs. The International Wushu Federation submitted its application for inclusion to the IOC in 2001, 2008 and 2011, but failed each time. The first two applications were rejected by the IOC in the initial stage. The third application in 2011 made it to the final round of voting for participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games but fell agonizingly short and missed out once again.

Wushu did appear as special exhibition events at both the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games which greatly improved the image and international recognition of the sport.

Zhang explained that after entering the Olympic Games, Wushu will become the work of the Olympic Committees of various countries and regions.

"This will put forward higher technical requirements for the International Wushu Federation," Zhang said.

"Next, we should further reform the competition rules and performance level of Wushu according to Olympic standards. So we will soon launch international classification criteria of Wushu for young people. Based on these elements, we will design more routines that young people will like," Zhang concluded.

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