China's sporting success in 2011

Deng Wei, 17 years old, from China
Four years after the second place overall (according to GSN) at the Beijing Olympics, with no less than 100 medals, China is still up there with the best sporting countries of the planet.
China finished 3rd overall in the Global Cup 2011, with 4390 pts (5% of all points awarded) and up 1 position vs 2010. The Dragon is still rising!
China ranked only 9th in the Men Global Cup but was up 4 positions vs 2010, and ranked 3rd in the Women Global Cup, where it lost one position vs 2010.
We see two decisive factors in China’s success, which indicate that still more success is on its way.
Factor 1: breadth of excellence. China scored GSN points in 38 sports in 2011, some distance away from overall winners USA, who scored in 50 but still a huge number. Yet China beat the USA at numbers of sports won: China won outright in 8 sports, see below, three more than the United States.
§ Basketball
§ Diving
§ Table tennis
§ Trampoline
§ Weightlifting
§ Badminton
§ Artistic gymnastics
§ Shooting
Overall, the best sports for China, in terms of point scored throughout the year and in ranking order are as follows (in brackets, China’s ranking in the sport’s Global Cup):
1. Swimming (3rd), 483 pts
2. Athletics (8th), 415 pts
3. Table tennis (1st), 389 pts
4. Weightlifting (1st), 339 pts
5. Badminton (1st), 246 pts
6. Artistic Gymnastics (1st), 220 pts
7. Short track (2nd), 210 pts
8. Basketball (1st), 200 pts
9. Shooting (1st), 192 pts
10. Free Style Skiing (3rd), 174 pts
...and 28 more!
The Best Sports ranking is influenced by the number of pts the single sport awards in a year: eg Swimming awards 4680 pts while Trampoline, which China won, awards as little as 222. By combining the points won with the ranking in the sport, we have a measure of the level of excellence reached in that sport by China.
The sports in which China  truly excelled in 2011 were:
- Table Tennis, with victory in the Table Tennis Worlds in Rotterdam; six of the top 10 athletes in the ITTF are Chinese: Ma Long (1st, only 23 year old), Zhang Jike (2nd), Wang Hao (3rd ), Ma Lin, Wang Liqin and Xu Xin; in the women, led by Ding Ning, it’s the first four!!
   Ma Long (China)
- Weightlifting , with victory in the Weightlifting Worlds in Antalya: our choice of signature athlete is Deng Wei (main picture), 17 yrs old and astonishingly gold medal both at the Senior and Junior worlds in 2011 in the 58kg category
- Badminton, with victory in the Badminton Worlds in London, ahead of Denmark and Indonesia: key athletes (world ranking position in brackets) are Lin Dan (2nd) , Chen Long (3rd), Chen Jin (5th), Du Pengyu (10th) for the men and Wang Yihan (23 years old), Wang Xin, Wang Shixian the top 3 women in the ranking!
Wang Yihan (China)
- Artistic Gymnastics, with victory at the Artistic Gymnastics Worlds in Tokyo, signature athlete 16 yrs old Tan Sixin
- Basketball, with victory in the Asia men basketball Championships in Wuhan, signature player Yi Jianlian, 24 yrs old Championships  MVP and already 5 yrs in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, and now of the Guangdong Southern Tigers.
Yi Jianlian(China)
Factor 2: YOUTH. All the top athletes, and many more, in China’s top sports are below 24 years of age, and some are below 18 (!!),  just the tip of the iceberg in a massive sports movement that is now changing gears smoothly and running constantly in the fast lane.
London 2012, here they come!