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MEXICO CITY， July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Games of the XXVII Olympiad， also called the Millennial Games， were held in Sydney， Australia， between Sept.15 and Oct.1， 2000， with 10，651 athletes from 199 delegations.
Its inauguration ceremony was focused on the unity of fire， representing Australia's climate， and water， for Sydney's place by the ocean. This became clear when Australian runner Cathy Freeman climbed stairs toward a large pool of water， with the cauldron harboring the Olympic Flame at its center. The cauldron was then lifted up a waterfall to take its place above the Stadium Australia and its 110，000 spectators.
Besides Freeman， who won the 400m in front of her home crowd， the female hero of the Games was American Marion Jones， who took home the gold for the 100m， 200m and the 4x400m relay， while winning two bronze medals for the 4x100m relay and the long jump.
Sadly， in October 2007， Jones confessed to having used illegal substances in Sydney and forfeited her five medals.
Birgit Fischer from Germany took two gold medals in kayaking， to become the first woman to ever reach eight gold medals across six editions in the Olympic Games.
British rower Steven Redgrave continued his haul， winning his fifth gold at five consecutive Olympics.
Sydney also the entry of China into the top three in the medal ranking， finishing third in total medals and in gold medals won， behind the U.S. and Russia， after finishing fourth behind Germany in Atlanta 1996.
In Sydney， China saw a record haul with 28 gold medals， 16 silver medals and 15 bronze medals.
Of these， seven athletes repeated their gold medals from Atlanta， while China found new success in sports such as fencing and cycling.
Tao Luna won China's first gold in the 10m air pistol competition， while divers Xiong Ni and Fu Mingxia took home the gold， the fourth straight such victory for Fu.
Finally， the Chinese male gymnastics team ended a 47-year drought and was crowned with the gold， while the female hockey team finished fifth in its first Olympics， despite beating two of the favourites， the Netherlands and Germany.
SYDNEY 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES MEDAL TABLE
COUNTRY GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
U.S. 37 24 31 92
Russia 32 28 28 88
China 28 16 15 59
Australia 16 25 17 58
Germany 13 17 26 56
France 13 14 11 38
Italy 13 8 13 34
Netherlands 12 9 4 25
Cuba 11 11 7 29
UK 11 10 7 28
PEERING up at a dissipated crowd
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, the Chinese team waved half-heartedly after failing to reach the playoffs in the World Women’s Curling Championships, a competition it won eight years ago.
The tournament, held in Beijing last week, was the latest setback for a team that is already feeling the growing weight of expectation ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China’s capital.
The Chinese women finished 11th out of 12 teams in their first international competition at home
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, where the government has launched a campaign to bolster excitement around winter sports, while Canada won the title undefeated.
The team did not earn enough points at the championships to directly qualify for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. It will instead vie for a slot during December’s qualifying event in the Czech Republic.
“I think everyone was feeling the pressure of playing in our home arena,” said captain Wang Bingyu, her voice raspy from yelling commands at the sweepers. As captain during the team’s triumph at the 2009 World Championships and bronze medal win at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics — China’s first Winter Olympics team medal — Wang
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, 32, has orchestrated Chinese curling’s most historic moments. But this time around, she doesn’t expect history to simply repeat itself.
“I know my fitness and technique are not the same as they were before,” she told reporters
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, after China lost its last round-robin match to Russia on Thursday night.
“Before I chose to return (after three years out of international competition), I already considered that this would not be an easy path. But I hoped to give myself a chance.”
Curling had no professional teams in China until 2001. They have since risen rapidly: along with the women’s 2009 world title and 2010 Olympic bronze, the men’s team also finished a record fourth at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
At the Winter Asian Games in Sapporo, Japan
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, last month, both teams handily won gold.
“Curling in China is a high-brow sport,” said Zhang Guihai, director of the Heilongjiang Institute of Snow and Ice Industries. More so than skating and skiing
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, Zhang said, curling is about technique.
“I’ve always thought of curling as a confrontation with oneself,” Wang said. “There are no secrets.”
After the first hour, the crowd thinned as Russia led 5-1. Still
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, one Chinese flag-bearing group cheered until the end: “Go Team China, go!”
Zhang said the squad’s descent from their world championship glory is partly due to the retirement of the sport’s more seasoned athletes.
“But curling remains a gold-medal event for China,” he said.
State-owned China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) is scheduled to secure conditional EU antitrust approval for its bid for Switzerland-based seeds and pesticides company Syngenta, media reports said Friday
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, citing sources.
Experts noted that the deal would help supplement ChemChina's business while also help Syngenta seek growth in the global market.
In February 2016, ChemChina announced that it had agreed to take over Syngenta in a deal worth $43 billion, according to a statement posted on the website of ChemChina.
ChemChina could not be reached for comment as of press time.
In an earlier interview, a spokesperson for ChemChina who declined to be identified told the Global Times that the takeover would have a positive effect on global food supplies and safety.
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