Chinese athletes donate to earthquake-hit area 2008-05-14 19:58:06   Print

Special report: Strong Earthquake Jolts SW China

    BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Athens Olympics 110m hurdles winner and world champion Liu Xiang made his contribution to the earthquake victims here on Wednesday in a donation drive called forth by China's sport governing body.

    Liu and his coach Sun Haiping combined to donate 500,000 yuan (about 71,000 U.S. dollars) in a donation ceremony attended by all the Chinese national team athletes who are training in Beijing for the Beijing Olympic Games.

    "Although we cannot go there in person but we will do our part in the relief," said Liu who delivered a speech representing about500 athletes and coaches from 22 national teams on spot.

    As of Tuesday, southwestern Sichuan Province has reported 14,000 death in Monday's quake, according to the disaster relief center under the State Council, which also announced that another 9,404 were buried in debris, 7,841 were missing and 26,206 people were injured after a major earthquake measuring 7.8 Richter Scale jolted Wenchuan County at 2:28 p.m. on Monday.

    "I watched the news on the plane when we flew from Shanghai to Beijing. I felt very sad," said Liu's coach Sun. "We discussed about it yesterday what we should do for the victims and now we are making some contribution. Hope everything soon back to normal in Sichuan."

    China's State General Administration of Sport called on the sport field to donate and the Administration and the Chinese Olympic Committee had donated five million yuan.

    "I think it is time for the sport circle to return the support from the country and the people who stand behind each achievement we have got," said the director of the Administration Liu Peng.

    NBA franchise Houston Rockets star Yao Min was absent from the ceremony but he already donated 500,000 yuan and his younger teammate and Milwaukee Bucks forward Yi Jianlian gave 100,000.

    The Chinese table tennis team donated 980,000 at the ceremony and the gymnastic squad held a small donation ceremony to collect one million on Tuesday while they were competing at the World Cup in Chinese municipality Tianjin.

Editor: Wang Hongjiang
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