Chinese race walker Chen Ding won applauds from the Chinese people at the Beijing International Airport after he got off the plane on Wednesday. Chen finished the London Olympic trip happily, winning the gold medal in the men's 20km walk and also making history for Chinese track and field.
Chen, who is studying at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou city, China's southern province of Guangdong, may beome an idol of Chinese college students, who are proud of Chen's achievements at the Games.
"Now, many students are preparing to take photos with him after he returns from London," one of the students said.
It is the first Olympic gold medal taken by a Chinese male walker and also the second Olympic gold won by a Chinese male track and field athlete following the country's hurdling star Liu Xiang who claimed the title at 2004 Athens Games. In fact, the day when Chen got the gold medal was the only one day to go before his 20th birthday, and Chen must enjoy a great mood for celebration after winning the gold medal. "It is a wonderful gift for my birthday," said Chen after the event.
Keeping a low profile, Chen walked out of the airport shyly and reservedly. "I feel very happy and proud to get the gold medal but I will never forget whoever cares and supports me."
"Still as a track and field athlete, I also want to thank my coach, who offers help and love in the process of preparing the Olympics," Chen said.
"I do not think I will emerge as a superstar like Liu Xiang," said Chen after the Olympic event in London. "Before I won the gold medal, I was just an ordinary athlete. And if I want to achieve more, I need to remain ordinary and keep a low profile.
"In fact, I just prepared to get the bronze medal and may be hopeful in taking the gold medal, but I am not sure," Chen said at the airport on Wednesday.
Chen, 20, was born at Baoshan city of China's southern province of Yunnan, never won the first place during big events in the men's 20km walk before this gold medal. Also, he just got the second despite breaking the Asian record during the trial event to the London Olympics.
However in London, Chen made the history, finishing first with an Olympic record of one hour, 18 minutes and 46 seconds in the men's 20km walk. The bronze medal went to China's Wang Zhen.
"Many people know little about this event, so I hope that they will have a better understanding of it through watching this Games," Chen said, "I believe that China still has a huge room for developing th sport."
- By english.news.cn