Earthquake Jolts SW China
By Shi Chundong and Cao Jianjie
CHENGDU, Southwest China, May 21 (Xinhua) -- None of
Sichuan-based athletes was killed or injured in a deadly earthquake which hit
the southwestern Chinese province on May 12, Sichuan sports chief said here on
The provincial teams of various sports were evacuated
immediately after the 8.0-magnitude quake rocked China, said Sichuan sports
director Zhu Ling.
"All of the provincial-level athletes were away from
the worst-hit areas and they made quick escape from the buildings when the
disaster happened," Zhu said.
"Most athletes lived in low-rise buildings and they
were taking a nap or preparing for the afternoon session of training at the
moment of the earthquake."
According to Zhu, the sports infrastructure in
Wenchuan, the epicenter of China's most deadly quake in decades, Beichuan and
Qingchuan has been seriously damaged.
The newly-built gymnasium, swimming pool and stadium
in the Aba Normal Institute in Wenchuan were wiped out and a 3,000-seat
gymnasium in Jiangyou city, which was jolted by a 6.0-magnitude aftershock on
Sunday, had been devastated by the May 12 quake.
The Sichuan Sports Bureau closed all the sports
venues and facilities on the day of the earthquake, said Zhu.
Sichuan has churned out a dozen of Olympic champions
including Chen Longcan (table tennis), Gao Min (diving), Zhang Shan (shooting)
and Du Lizhang (shooting) and Tang Lin (judo).
None of the Chinese national teams were in the
quake-hit areas on May 12, but the Asian soccer boss and his Chinese counterpart
were, said Zhu.
Asian Football Confederation president Hohamed Bin
Hammam and Chinese soccer boss Xie Yalong were attending a soccer forum in a
Chengdu hotel when the quake hit.
Hamman and Xie looked composed when reporters fled.
They were among the last group of the forum attendees evacuated to the Chengdu
The death toll from last week's devastating
earthquake was 40,075 nationwide as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the
Information Office of the State Council. Another 247,645 people were injured and
32,361 people were missing as of Tuesday at noon.