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Make National Games a sport event, not competition among officials | Updated: 2013-09-06 22:39

The 12th National Games are going on in Liaoning province. The Games are a sports event and should not be turned into a competition for achievement among officials from various provinces, says an editorial in Beijing News. Excerpts:

In her autobiography, star tennis player Li Na mentioned that an official from her home province persuaded her to participate in the National Games even though she was injured. When she said this might affect her health and international games in the future, the official answered: "Believe me! Your world ranking is not as important as championship in the National Games."

During the National Games season, officials from various provinces look even busier than the athletes. They try to "rent" or "borrow" talented athletes and even use personal relations to try to make judges more favorable to their teams.

Their over-intervention has distorted the Games. What should be a sports event for athletes has become more like a competition for achievements among sport officials. That will hurt sport in the long run. The incidents for the past few days, where athletes claimed biased judges, illustrate the chaos.

To solve that problem, provincial governments need to change their evaluation standards for sport officials, which are now primarily based on the number of medals their athletes win at the National Games. Only by removing official's intervention will the National Games again become a sports event.

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