Fri, Sep 01, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Taipei Universiade: Universiade ‘heroes’ hailed in parade through Taipei

POLITICS ASIDE?People lined the streets waving flags associated with the Taiwanese independence movement as well as the Republic of China flag

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Summer Universiade weightlifters Hung Wan-ting, left, who won gold in the women’s 69kg division, and Kuo Hsing-chun, who won gold in the women’s 58kg division, wave to crowds during a parade in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

About 200 athletes and coaches who were part of the Taipei Summer Universiade received a hero’s welcome at a parade organized by the General Association of Chinese Culture in Taipei yesterday.

The event, called the Taiwan’s Heroes’ Parade,” began on Ketagalan Boulevard and continued on Chongqing S, Guanqian, Zhongxiao W and Zhongxiao E roads.

After finishing the section on Zhongsxiao E Road, the parade circled Taipei 101 and ended in a red-carpet walk and brief celebration at the plaza in front of the Taipei City Hall in Xinyi District (信義).

Yang Chun-han (楊俊瀚), who won gold in the men’s 100m sprint, stood in a jeep at the head of the parade.

He was followed by Cheng Chao-tsun (鄭兆村) and Huang Shih-feng (黃士峰), who won gold and bronze respectively in the men’s javelin.

Yang ran 10.22 seconds, breaking the national record, while Cheng set a new Asian record, throwing 91.36m.

Onlookers cheered mightily as pummel horse gold-medalist Lee Chih-kai (李智凱) and coach Lee Yu-shin (林育信) passed, with the crowds shouting: “Chih-kai! Chih-kai!”

Weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳), who took gold in the women’s 58kg category, waved to the crowds and wiped tears from her cheeks.

Kuo lifted a combined 249kg — 107kg in the snatch and 142kg in the clean and jerk, breaking Universiade records with all three results.

Her clean and jerk lift was also a new world record.

Chen Chieh (陳傑) and Chen Kuei-ru (陳奎儒), silver medalists in the 400m hurdles and 100m hurdles respectively; Jason Jung (莊吉生), who won gold in the men’s tennis singles; Lee Ya-hsuan (李亞軒), who was second in the women’s tennis singles; Cheng I-ching (鄭怡靜), silver medalist in the women’s table tennis singles; Wang Tzu-wei (王子維), gold medalist in the badminton men’s singles; and the women’s basketball and volleyball teams were among the athletes in the parade.

The baseball team, who were fifth, did not participate.

Although Taiwan took 23 medals in roller sports — 10 golds, 11 silvers and two bronzes — only Liang Hsuan-min (梁宣旼), who won gold in the women’s speed slalom final, was in the parade, as her teammates are competing at the World Roller Games in Nanjing, China.

Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎), gold medalist in the badminton women’s singles, skipped the parade to shoot a short film for a disaster prevention awareness campaign for the Ministry of Interior. Her family said that it was a previous engagement. Sisters Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) and Chan Hao-ching (詹皓晴), who clinched gold in the women’s tennis doubles, were also absent.

People lining the route waved national flags, flags associated with the Taiwanese independence movement and Team Taiwan flags, shouting: “You are the best!” and “Heroes! Heroes!” or made the thumbs-up gesture.

People in office buildings along the route came onto the streets to cheer or opened windows to greet them.

A man surnamed Su (蘇) from Chiayi County told the Taipei Times that he was one of the lucky few who got to see Tai’s badminton win in person.

He also watched the baseball team play South Korea in the qualifying round, he said.

“I bought the tickets way before the Taiwan team started accumulating golds,” Su said. “It was a shame that our baseball team did not win a medal this time because of problem with their defense.”

Su said the Universiade was a success, as it united the nation in sports.

He said he was particularly impressed by Yang in the 100m final, which was “really exciting.”

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