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Thursday, 6 September 2012

London 2012: Daoliang Hu - portrait of a champion

Sports commentators often talk about how much an athlete wants victory. If appearances are anything to go by there can be few athletes who "want it" as much as Daoliang Hu, Chinese paralympic fencer. In the Men's Individual Foil Category B, Hu fought for the gold medal against Anton Datsko from the Ukraine. Every point scored by Hu was greeted with clenched fists and loud cries, and from the cheers of the crowd it seemed as though this commitment was highly appreciated. Hu took the lead early on and looked like maintaining this. However, partway through the match Hu received a red card penalty, after which his composure seemed to go for a while and Datsko scored several points to draw level. Eventually though Hu's composure returned and he fought aggressively to take the gold medal. Even as he was wheeled from the arena Hu's face was contorted with emotion.  From my seat in the audience I managed to get some pictures that captured this strength of feeling.

Daoliang Hu salutes his opponent and the audience in the Greenwich Arena

After scoring a point Hu clenches his fists and cries out loud

Anton Datsko, three points down, seems to be feeling the heat

The final blow

After the medals ceremony Daoliang Hu presents his bouquet to a female team member


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