2016 Rio Olympics - Swimming - Women's 100m Backstroke Victory Ceremony - Olympic Aquatics Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 08/08/2016. Fu Yuanhui (CHN) of China (PRC) pose with her medal REUTERS/David Gray

(From AP)

In a country long focused on bringing home as many Olympic gold medals as possible, this year’s haul isn’t what China expected.

Fu Yuanhui  of China poses with her bronze medal  at Rio Olympics. REUTERS/David Gray

When China’s 416-athlete delegation set off for Rio, state sports officials were banking on 30 to 36 gold medals. As the games end, it had won just 24 for the worst showing since Atlanta in 1996.

Lagging in third place, China’s total is a far cry from the country’s 51-gold performance in Beijing that topped the gold medal chart.

But so what?

The once-feverish obsession with the gold tally has slowly subsided among the Chinese public, which has shown more interest this year in lavishing adoration on athletes with personalities, such as bronze medalist Fu Yuanhui, rather than counting medals. Read More

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