China's first Olympic men's 4x100m relay medal means a lot, says Su
Star sprinter Su Bingtian said China's first Olympic sprint medal means a lot to him and his teammates, following Thursday's IOC decision of reallocating the Tokyo 2020 men's 4x100m bronze to the Chinese relay team.
Su, along with Tang Xingqiang, Xie Zhenye and Wu Zhiqiang, finished fourth in the event's final at last summer's Tokyo Olympic Games. But Chijindu Ujah of the previous silver medalist Britain was disqualified for doping rule violation by the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in its decision dated February 18, 2022.
"It was a big surprise when I saw the news this morning. The first Olympic men's 4x100m relay medal for China means a lot to us," Su said on Friday.
The 32-year-old was reckoned as a national hero after dashing 9.83 seconds to make the men's 100m final at Tokyo 2020, setting a new Asian record. He led the Chinese men's 4x100m relay squad to fall just short of the podium for the second Olympic Games in a row after Rio 2016, finishing fourth with 37.79 seconds, equalling the national record.
Su had been craving an Olympic medal.
"I want to borrow the gold medal from her and take a photo because I never saw an Olympic medal," he said after witnessing China's shot putter Gong Lijiao won the gold in Tokyo last year.
Now, his dream has come true.
"I know it was not easy. I feel so proud of the team. The honor belongs to my motherland, my friend and my team," he said.
Su said the medal is not only a gift for the quartet but also a reward for every predecessor who gave their effort and sweat to Chinese sprinting. He found infinite possibilities in Chinese athletes and encouraged Chinese people to cheer up for them.
"This is the first step. As for the future, I believe more and more young Chinese sprinters will mount the Olympic podium in their own ways, I believe more Chinese athletes will do everything they can to gain honor for their homeland. Go, Chinese athletics team!" Su said.
According to the IOC, the following six options for receiving their medals are proposed to each athlete: the next Olympic Games (for reallocations from PyeongChang 2018 onwards), the Youth Olympic Games, the IOC headquarters or Olympic Museum, at a National Olympic Committee function, at an International Federation event or function, or at a private ceremony.
Neither Su nor his teammates reveals which options they will choose, but Chinese fans already made a decision for them.
"Choose Olympic Games in 2024, so you can get two medals, one from Tokyo and the other from Paris," a Weibo user said.