sport in asia

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side alley by Chris Zielecki
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Hong Kong, China

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KOREA: VIDEO: KO HYOJOO

anonymous asked:

Hii.. so from what I've seen I'm guessing that russia,japan, usa and canada are the best countries in figure skating? I myself am from hong kong, which is in china, so i was wondering if china, or hong kong for that matter, is sorta bad in figure skating/?

Yes - Russia, USA, Canada, and Japan are the “Big 4″ in figure skating right now, with some of the deepest fields (but Japan is only strong in men’s and ladies’ singles, they haven’t had much success in pairs and ice dance yet). There are top international skaters from other countries too, but the fields within their countries aren’t quite as deep. Europe and North America have historically dominated the sport; Asia (namely, Japan and China) only started to become bigger players in the last 20 years or so.

China is a powerhouse in pair skating; since the late 1990s, they’ve produced many champion pair teams who have won World and Olympic medals, including Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo, Pang Qing/Tong Jian, and today’s Sui Wenjing/Han Cong. Lu Chen was a ladies’ World Champion and Olympic medalist back in the ‘90s, but China’s ladies field today is still pretty weak, with the exception of Li Zijun - who is good, but not a World podium contender. Right now China also has a couple of strong men’s skaters, Jin Boyang (known for his quads, he won a World bronze medal last season) and Yan Han. China’s best discipline is still pairs, though.

Hong Kong has never had any top contenders in skating, but skaters representing Hong Kong do compete in international competitions! There will be 4 skaters from Hong Kong competing at the Four Continents Championships in a few weeks - Maisy Hiu Ching Ma in ladies (I like her, she’s a fun performer), and Leslie Man Cheuk Ip, Harry Hau Yin Lee, Harrison Jon-Yen Wong in men’s. Four Continents is also an opportunity to see skaters from small Asian skating federations like the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Singapore. I don’t think it’s fair to say they’re “bad” at skating and leave it at that - they’re definitely not as good as skaters from stronger feds, but everyone still does their best to show good performances and enjoyment of skating, no matter what level they’re at.

In the Kunlun Mountains, Xu Feng raises some of the most powerful and beautiful pegasi in the world. At his family’s mountain ranch, Mr. Xu breeds White Jade Pegasi, named for the region around the White Jade river, where the species of pegasus are exclusively found. Fed baijiu–a Chinese distilled spirit–and a mixture of vegetation, White Jade Pegasi are the pegasus breed in highest demand in the world.

“They know it too,” says Mr. Xu, as a a nearby pegasus snuffles his palm. “They’re proud bastards. But some of the best flyers in the world. India won the last Aerial Polo International Championship on White Jades.”

(Zhao Lei by Anaëlle Le Roy)

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Buzkashi (literally “goat dragging” in Persian) or kokpar is the Central Asian sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat or calf carcass toward a goal. It is the national sport of Afghanistan & Tajikistan, although it was banned under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. 

Traditionally, games could last for several days, but in its more regulated tournament version it has a limited match time. The game consists of two main forms: Tudabarai and Qarajai. Tudabarai is considered to be the simpler form of the game. In this version, the goal is simply to grab the goat and move in any direction until clear of the other players. In Qarajai, players must carry the carcass around a flag or marker at one end of the field, then throw it into a scoring circle (the “Circle of Justice”) at the other end. The riders will carry a whip, often in their teeth, to fend off opposing horses and riders.