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Top 5 Most Popular Sports In China

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In this post, we will check out the top 5 most popular sports in China.

China is the most populated country in the world and home to dozens of sports including popular mainstream sports such as basketball, football, and tennis.

The country has a very rich sports culture which, as part of its heritage, continues to develop greatly the fields of martial arts, yoga, and several other high-level traditional sports.

It has such an enduring love for these traditional games so much so that a lot of people often identify the Chinese people with these or to a lesser degree, with snooker or ping pong.

Yet, China is way more than these. Its favorite sports collection is often seen as complete; normally featuring all kinds of top brands that sports bettors would often seek offers on from the best Asian Bookies. On the list are included the following top five.

#5 Badminton

China is known for its outstanding Olympic Badminton performances. They have more than 50% of all top Badminton competitions’ awards. It is difficult to miss Badminton while in China. it is one of the most common sports you would definitely find while traveling across the country.

Chinese people love Badminton and do not only watch but participate as well. And with the support of the government, players get the best training they need in sports and when they perform, their standards become almost unmatchable.

#4 Running

Chinese people run! They do it every day whenever an opportunity presents itself. More than a million Chinese are marathon runners. It is one of the most flexible sports and has been quite attractive to both youths and adults. Active Chinese runners are those between 25 and 45 years. They spent a lot of time practicing and enjoying marathons.

About a hundred top-standard marathons were reported in the country in 2021. Some of the most famous marathons that gather millions of Chinese together are the Annual Beijing Marathon which covers about 42.195 km, the Shanghai International Marathon, Guangzhou Marathon, Wuhan Marathon, Wuxi Marathon, and the famous 21,09 km Hangzhou Marathon which often sees over 32, 000 participants from about 50 countries worldwide.

#3 Ping Pong (Table Tennis)

This is another popular brand of sport in China that has a very high level of following. If there is any country in the world with more table tennis experts, that is China. About 60% of all Table Tennis Men’s World Championships trophies have been taken by China.  

The game is one of China’s most cherished national sports and the nation has dominated in almost every tournament they have been engaged in. Up to 2016, 28 out of 32 Olympic Gold Medals have gone to The People’s Republic of China.

#2 Football

Another unlikely selection once more but as it is, it cannot but make it to the second spot given its place in this highly developed nation. Without a doubt, football is the second-most popular sport in China.

Even though it is still in its developing stages compared to Europe and other parts of the world, Chinese football is gradually growing in fame both within the country and the Asia continent.  

Generally, football has a special place in Asia but continues to struggle against Asian fine brands like Cricket. However, in China, its progress has been well noted.

The Chinese Football Association has been working towards making football the most dominant game in the country. One of its greatest achievements is the remarkable management of the Chinese Super League which has become a very favorite pastime for most Chinese citizens.

Before becoming president in 2013, China’s current leader President Xi Jinping revealed plans of turning China into an Asian football powerhouse by 2030 and the world’s greatest by 2050.

Although quite little success has been made, the constant push and aspirations show how serious China is when it comes to football. More than 200 million Chinese citizens are football enthusiasts who either watch, bet on, or play the game.  

#1 Basketball

Not what most people would normally expect but yes, basketball is first on the list. Chinese people have a special taste for basketball. More than half a billion Chinese love and watch basketball and more continue to add to the list.

Reports have it that more than 300 million Chinese actually play basketball, a Number 6 times more than the entire population of Canada. This is how huge the Chinese basketball community is.

Basketball was exported to China by the famous Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the late 1800s just after its development in Spring Field, Massachusetts. It was highly welcomed in the country so much so that it became a memorable event in the 1910/1914 national games.

By 1920, Basketball was a trending sport, especially among students. Its massive explosion led to the establishment of a Chinese NBA version known as the CBA or, the Chinese Basketball Association in 1995.

The game by this time was fully developed and top-rated world stars such as Yao Ming began lifting the Chinese basketball banner. Yao Ming in particular became an icon not only in China but the US and the world over.

Retiring in 2011, this legendary Chinese basketball technician made history in the NBA when he got the most votes at the 2007 NBA All-Star game. This is but one of several excellent world-class basketball talents from China. Others include Yi Jianlian, Sun Yue, and Wang Zhizhi.

The game continues to grow as it keeps attracting more fans each day. Generally, Chinese athletes are often well supported. The Chinese government runs more than 3,000 sports schools as per a 2011 Firstpost report, 20 major programs, and up to 200 minor ones.

These programs have made sure China gets the best sports technicians in the fields they are more familiar with. And except for football which has been a major challenge developing in China, several sports including cricket and volleyball are quite successful in the country.

And of course, all these are highly supported by the powerful Chinese online sports betting market backed by its vibrant Bet High community.

Kamran Khan

A geek, who just loves to update sports, gaming, and tech updates from around the world to the other geeks out there. A passionate sports lover, a tech geek from the mind, and a gamer from the heart.

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