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Chinese Women and Sport Success, Sexuality, Suspicion

James Riordan

Never have women athletes made such rapid progress in a wide range of events in such a short time — some two or three years — or improved world records by such remarkable margins. The reasons for the progress of Chinese women athletes are examined in this article. One of the reasons is an absence in China of a number of deep-seated prejudices in regard to sexuality that have been common in western historical develoment — prejudices centred on the notion that sport was a ‘male preserve’.

The major factors that have facilitated Chinese women’s progress in sport have to be sought in various elements intrinsic to Chinese society and shaped by historically-conditioned attitudes to sport and women that differ markedly from those that have formed the dominant values of sport in western society, at least since the time of Ancient Greece.

Insosfar as world-wide women’s sporting attainments are reflecting, reinforcing and sometimes even precipitating processes of social change in the role and status of women, the Chinese women’s example offers exciting prospects for the future of women in all societies, particularly the modernising communities of Asia and Africa.

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Shot Trajectory Parameters in Gold Medal Stationary Shot-Putters during World-Class Competition

Laurent Frossard, James Smeathers, Alison O’Riordan, and Scott Goodman

The parameters of the shot’s trajectory were reported for male and female gold medalists (classes F52, F53, F54, and F55) who competed at the 2000 Paralympic Games and the 2002 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships. The specific objective was to determine the magnitude of differences in these parameters across classes and genders. The release velocity of the shot increased with the performance and the classification for both males (8.30 m/s – 9.96 m/s) and females (4.58 m/s – 8.50 m/s). The measured angle of the shot’s trajectory at release also increased with the performance and the classification for both males (27.54° – 32.47°) and females (9.02° – 34.52°). The position of the shot from a fixed reference point at release revealed a similar trend for both males (2.01 m – 2.68 m) and females (1.16 m – 1.98 m), although it was weaker.