Wu Carries Bags of Confidence to Paris

ByLi Yingxue July 10, 2024
Wu Yanni in action [Xinhua]


In a striking departure from conventional sporting appearances, the women's 100m hurdles final at last Sunday's National Athletics Championships showcased competitors who combined elegance and athleticism with buckets of confidence.

Chief among them was Wu Yanni. She started behind her rival Lin Yuwei, but a surge in the latter half of the race saw her claim victory with a personal best time of 12.74 seconds, marking an Asian best performance in the event so far this year.

Lin secured second place with a time of 13 seconds, while Chen Minjia and Xia Sining took third and fourth places, respectively.

Reflecting on her victory, Wu expressed her determination to present herself as the most stylish, confident, and capable version of herself on the track, a promise she felt she fulfilled admirably.

In a post on Douyin after the event, Wu thanked her supporters, stating: "I will continue to improve, and so will Chinese women's 100m hurdles."

The 26-year-old has courted controversy with her bold personality, her wearing of makeup, displaying her tattoos and incorporating flashy pre-race routines.

Responding to criticism, Wu emphasized that she is not seeking internet fame, but rather aiming for recognition based on her athletic prowess. Addressing the scrutiny, Wu noted that, "the more people doubt me, the harder I push myself in training".

She defended her choice to wear makeup before competing, describing it as an expression of confidence. "I believe it's perfectly normal for girls to wear makeup. I don't understand why this is blown out of proportion. Don't girls have the right to express their beauty?"

Reflecting on her approach, Wu expressed satisfaction in presenting her best self during those crucial seconds on the track. "If I achieve good results, that's even better," she concluded.

The rivalry between Wu and Lin, contenders for the title of China's top female hurdler, has continued from the Asian Games into this year's National Championships. They are poised to meet again on Paris 2024's iconic purple track.

Last August, at the 31st Summer Universiade in Chengdu, Sichuan province, Wu claimed the silver medal in the women's 100m hurdles with a then personal best time of 12.76 seconds, securing her qualification for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Meanwhile, at last year's Asian Games in Hangzhou, 25-year-old Lin Yuwei took home the gold with a personal best of 12.74 seconds, also earning her ticket to the French capital this summer. Wu's performance in the event was nullified due to a false start.

Wu has had a standout year, achieving personal bests across various competitions. She broke her own record four times in the 60m hurdles and secured back-to-back victories in the women's 100m hurdles events at the World Athletics Continental Tour in Osaka and Tokyo.

As the Paris Olympics draws ever nearer, Wu shared her excitement on Weibo: "Reflecting on the past year and seeing where I am now, I feel blessed! The once-distant Olympic stage is now within reach. I'm eager and not nervous at all!"

Wu is realistic about the challenge: "I'll be delighted if I perform well. If I don't, I'll analyze and address any shortcomings."


(Source: China Daily)

Editor: Wang Shasha


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