Tennis, canoe coaches from Doumen excel at Olympics
Doumen District natives Huang Haicheng, Li Jing, and Kuang Hailan stood out as coaches of 2020 Tokyo Olympics medalists during the July 23 to Aug 8 events.
Huang is head coach of Chinese youth Sun Yingsha, who took the gold medal in table tennis women's team competition and silver medal in women's singles at Tokyo 2020. Chen Meng, champion of women's team and singles events, and Liu Shiwen, silver medal winner of mixed doubles competition, also had been coached by Huang.
Huang was a National Table Tennis Championships gold medalist and coach of the Guangdong women's table tennis team, and national men's and women's youth teams before the national women's team recruited him in 2017.
He began practicing table tennis due to the influence of his first coach Chen Zhanbing, who attributed his success to his Zodiac sign, the Ox, which is known to be hardworking and persevering.
Huang Haicheng (third from left) and Li Jing (fourth from left) pose for photographs after winning second prize in a provincial match in August 1985 [Photo provided by Chen Zhanbing to Zhujiang Evening Post]
According to Chen, Huang had table tennis training at Doumen Sports School and took general knowledge courses at Jing'an Number 1 Primary School (currently Doumen Experimental Primary School).
The primary school was directed by the Department of Sports of Guangdong Province to develop traditional table tennis projects in 1986 and named a national teenager sports club by the General Administration of Sport of China in 2003.
Li, who was also a student of Chen and at Jing'an Number 1 Primary School, led the Hong Kong women's table tennis team to an Olympic bronze as head coach. He had trained hard since childhood and returned to the Jing'an school in his former glory along with Wang Liqin, said Chen.
Li became a member of the Guangdong table tennis team in 1987 and national youth intensified training team in 1990. He transferred to the Hong Kong team in 2000 and won the silver medal in men's doubles at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Kuang coaches Chinese duo Liu Hao and Zheng Pengfei who took silver in men's canoe double 1000m. As a former member of the national canoeing and kayaking team, she championed the women's kayak four at the 5th National Intercity Games in 2003 and took one silver and one bronze in Hungary at the 2009 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup.
As of now, Doumen has tallied 14 Olympians, 55 gold medals in world competitions, and 273 gold medals in national competitions.