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Top 10 hottest Chinese athletes of 2012

Thanks to their natural talent, advanced skill, and persistence, the following ten athletes often dominate the competition in their field. Along with his individual athletic talents, he has been blessed with good looks and a well-trained body that appeals to both the public and fans. The following ten hot sports figures, selected for you by China.org.cn, are all currently active and their ranking on this list is based on their legions of microblogging fans on either weibo.com or t.qq.com.

Top 10: Sun Yu (孙悦)

Sport: Basketball

Age: 27

Microblogging fans on weibo.com (as of November 25): 23,465

Dubbed "China's Magic Johnson" by home-based fans, Sun Yu was born on 6 November 1985 in Hebei Province. Has been playing basketball since 2002 at the age of 10, playing with the Beijing Olympians or Aoshen in Chinese. In 2005, Sun joined the Chinese national team, and two years later entered the NBA draft. After making his debut as a point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008, Sun became the fifth Chinese male player to play in the NBA. The following year, he became the second Chinese player to receive an NBA championship ring after the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2009 NBA Finals. In October 2009, after being waived by the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, Sun returned to China and continued his contract with the Beijing Olympians.

Top 9: Pan Xiaoting (潘晓婷)

Sport: Billiards

Age: 30

Microblogging fans on t.qq.com (as of November 25): 378,692

Dubbed the "Queen of the Nine-Ball" by the Chinese media, Pan Xiaoting is China's most famous female billiards player. Born in Shandong Province on February 25, 1982, Pan began playing billiards at the age of 16 with his father. In 2002, Pan became the champion at the 35th World Women's 9-Ball Open in Japan, catapulting her to national prominence. In 2007, Pan was champion of the World Women's 9-Ball Championship, and won the final at the 2008 World Pool Association Open. In 2011, she realized her Grand Slam ambitions by winning the gold medal at the 16th Asian Games.

Top 8: Xiao Liuyang (焦刘洋)

Sport: Swimming

Age: 21

Microblogging fans on t.qq.com (as of November 25): 1,311,756

Chinese Olympian Xiao Liuyang was born on August 6, 1991 in Harbin. During the 2005 Chinese National Games, Xiao finished second in the women's 200 m butterfly event, making her a rising star nationwide. During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, she won a silver medal in the women's 200 m butterfly. This summer in London, Xiao became an Olympic champion. As a member of the PLA swim team, Xiao was elected as the country's youngest representative at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), held earlier this November.

Top 7: Jiang Tingting (蒋婷婷)

Sport: Synchronized swimming

Age: 26

Microblogging fans on Weibo.com (as of 25 November): 1,439,570

Jiang Tingting and her twin sister Jiang Wenwen are currently the most famous synchronized swimmers in China. Born in Sichuan province on September 25, 1986, Tingting is 30 minutes younger than her sister Wenwen. In 2007, the twins placed fourth in the pair event during the 12th FINA World Championships, marking the best result in the history of China's synchronized swimming team. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the pair came fourth in the duet, and won the first synchronized swimming medal for China as part of the Chinese team. The twins won a silver medal with the Chinese team during the XXX Olympiad in London.

Top 6: He Zi (何姿)

Sport: Diving

Age: 22

Microblogging fans on t.qq.com (as of November 25): 1,895,968

He Zi, born in Guangxi province on December 11, 1990, has long been considered the successor to China's so-called Princess of Diving, Guo Jingjing. From the age of six, she joined Tsinghua University's diving team and became a member of the national team in 2006. In February 2012, she won the women's doubles title and placed second in the 3-metre springboard singles during the 18th FINA. world Cup. During the XXX Olympiad held in London in August, she won both gold and silver in the women's doubles (with Wu Minxia) in the 3 m springboard event respectively.

Top 5: Zheng Jie (郑洁)

Sport: Tennis

Age: 29

Microblogging fans on t.qq.com (as of November 25): 3,775,225

Born on 5 July 1983 in Sichuan Province, Zheng Jie is currently the second most successful female tennis player in China behind Li Na. As of this month, Zheng is ranked 26th in the latest Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings, down 11 places from her highest ranking achieved on 18 May 2009. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Zheng won the doubles bronze with her partner Yan. Ji. During the 2010 Australian Open, Zheng reached the singles semifinals, becoming the first Chinese female player to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam event. In 2010, CNN ranked Zheng 9th on its list of the 15 sexiest female athletes in Asia.

Top 4: Zhang Jike (张继科)

Sport: Table Tennis

Age: 24

Microblogging fans on t.qq.com (as of November 25): 4,044,663

Born in Qingdao on February 16, 1988, Zhang Jike is now one of the most successful table tennis players in the world. Zhang came to prominence in 2008 when he defeated three Olympic champions – Ma Lin, Wang Liqin and Wang Hao – to win the men's singles title during the Chinese National Championships. In May 2011, he defeated defending champion Wang Hao and won the singles title during the World Table Tennis Championships. Six months after that event, he became the Men's Table Tennis World Cup champion in Paris. During the London 2012 Olympics, Zhang won gold in both the singles and team events, making him the fourth male player in the history of table tennis to achieve a career Grand Slam.

Top 3: Sun Yang (孙杨)

Sport: Swimming

Age: 21

Microblogging fans on weibo.com (as of November 25): 11,948,292

Following his sensational success during the 2012 London Olympics, Sun Yang has quickly become one of the most famous Chinese athletes in the world. In early 2011, he was sent to Australia for two months to train with Olympic medalist Grant Hackett's mentor, Dennis Cottrell. Then, on 31 July of that year, Sun broke the world record in the 1500 m freestyle, set ten years earlier by Grant Hackett. On 28 July and 4 August this year, he became the Olympic champion in the men's 400 m and 1500 m freestyle events, making him the first male swimmer to win Olympic gold for China, as well as the first of two male swimmers to win two individual swimming events. title at a time—the other being Michael Phelps.

Top 2: Lin Dan (林丹)

Sport: Badminton

Age: 29

Microblogging fans on t.qq.com (as of November 25): 18,647,995

Born on October 14, 1983 in Fujian Province, Lin Dan is often referred to by his fans as "Super Dan" because of his advanced skills and great performances. At the age of 27, Lin achieved the so-called Super Grand Slam, also known as the Golden Grand Slam, by winning all major titles in badminton including the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, All England completed. Open, Asian Games and Asia Championships, making him the first and only player in the world to do so. In 2010, Lin was ranked 7th on CNN's list of the 15 Sexiest Male Athletes in Asia. On September 23 this year, Lin married his former partner Xie Jingfang in a wedding ceremony held at Beijing University of Technology.

Top 1: Liu Xiang (刘翔)

Game: Obstacles

Age: 29

Microblogging fans on t.qq.com (as of November 25): 28,363,534

As the first and only gold medalist in men's track and field for China, Liu Xiang is unquestionably one of the most famous and successful Chinese athletes in the world. Born in Shanghai on July 13, 1983, Liu won his first Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, putting him on the map as well as in the record books. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Liu was forced to withdraw from the competition at the last minute due to a foot injury. At the XXX Olympiad this summer, he crashed at the first hurdle during the opening heat of the 110 m hurdles. However, even though he disappointed many of his fans, Liu is still the most beloved athlete of the Chinese people. In 2010, Liu was ranked 10th on CNN's list of the 15 Sexiest Male Athletes in Asia.

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