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Chinese Women Win Big At CCTV Awards
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The Chinese women's team emerged as the most decorated sports team at the CCTV Sports Personality of the Year Awards, held April 7 in Beijing.

The annual sports awards gala for CCTV (Chinese national TV) is the most prestigious event of its kind in China, and selects winners from the top-achieving stars in all sports. The Chinese women's program won three prizes - Female Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Team of the Year, and Coach of the Year - which was the highest number of awards won by any single sport in the same year.

2006 World Championships triple gold medalist Cheng Fei won for Female Sportsperson of 2006, edging out Olympic table-tennis champions Wang Nan and Zhang Yining, short-track speedskater Wang Meng, and world chess champion Xu Yuhua. Male Sportsperson of 2006 was Liu Xiang, winner of China's first Olympic track-and-field gold medal. He is the most famous and highest-earning sports star in China at this time, excluding basketball player Yao Ming, who now competes in the U.S.

The 2006 World Championships gold medal-winning team won in the category of Team of the Year. All six members of the team - Cheng, Zhang Nan, He Ning, Zhou Zhuoru, Pang Panpan and Li Ya - took the stage and were recognized for winning China's first-ever women's team world title.

Also honored was Lu Shanzhen, Cheng's personal coach and the Chinese women's team head coach, who shared the Coach of the Year award with pairs skating coach Yao Bin (coach of world champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo) and track-and-field coach Sun Haiping (coach of Olympic champion Liu Xiang).

This is the most recognition women's gymnastics has received in mainstream Chinese media/pop culture, since sports such as table tennis, soccer and diving typically win the main awards.

International Gymnast Magazine related features:
Chinese team on cover, 2006 World Championships special issue (December 2006)
"Lucky Charm" - Cheng cover story (January 2005)
"Quick Chat: Cheng Fei" (May 2006)
Fan Ye on cover, Fan poster, Fan profile (May 2005)
"Raising The Bar" - Li Ya profile (February 2005)
Zhou Zhuoru poster (May 2006)
"Standout" - Zhang Nan cover story (May 2004)
Zhang Nan on cover collage (August/September 2003)
Zhang Nan poster (May 2003)

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