Shanghai Grand Prix officially omitted from F1 season

Society & Culture

Last month, Chinese authorities announced that international sports would not be played in the country, with the exception of some Olympic qualifiers. They were serious.

2011 Chinese Grand Prix - Saturday Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China 16th April 2011 Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber C30 Ferrari.
Photo: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic

Formula 1 finally released a full race schedule for this year’s calendar, and to no one’s surprise, Shanghai was missing.

Last month, Chinese authorities announced that international sports would not be played in the country. The only exception to this rule was some Olympic qualifying events that will take place at the end of the year.

Due to COVID, F1 had to shorten its race calendar — the scheduled start in Australia in March was canceled due to the virus outbreak. Shanghai, which is usually one of the earliest races in the season, originally pushed the Shanghai Grand Prix back to November. However, the government’s announcement last month made it evident that no race would be held in China, despite some persistent speculation.

The season’s Asian leg will now only feature Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

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Jeremy Lin done in the CBA?

Chinese Basketball Association clubs last week released their list of overseas player contract renewals. The list is submitted at the end of every season, and according to league rules, clubs can retain any overseas player with a 10 percent salary raise.

The list featured playoffs MVP Sonny Weems — who at times carried the title-winning Guangdong Southern Tigers — as well as the free-scoring O.J. Mayo. But notably absent is one name: Jeremy Lin.

Following the Beijing Ducks’ semifinal defeat to Guangdong, Lin returned home to the U.S. to celebrate his 32nd birthday. In addition, news came out from Taiwan that Lin had received a Taiwanese passport, with an assist from Taipei city councilor Chung Hsiao-ping.

“[Lin] is very willing to represent Taiwan in international games,” Chung told the Taipei Times.

While Lin was born and raised in California, both his parents were born in Taiwan, and a Taiwanese passport could allow Lin to register in the CBA as a domestic player. But this would require him to renounce his American nationality, since eligibility rules state that athletes from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau can be registered as domestic players only if they don’t have a second nationality.

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Viktor Ahn appointed to Chinese short-track coaching team

One of the all-time-great speed skaters has joined as a coach of China’s national Olympic speed-skating team.

Viktor Ahn, who represented South Korea and then Russia in the Winter Olympics, claiming six golds in his career, joins a team that has been in decline since the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games.

Team China has seen its results slip year-on-year, failing to keep pace with the Netherlands and South Korea. Ahn, who retired in April with a knee injury, could potentially bring some desperately needed forward-thinking to the Chinese Olympic team.

Reversing the fortunes of China in the short track will be vital in making sure China returns a respectable medal count at the Beijing Winter Games in just over a year and a half.

According to China Daily, the naturalized Russian will earn around $430,000 a year with the short track team.

China has shown a real desire to appoint modern and successful coaches in a variety of niche sports, where the chances of scoring medals are high.

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, an eight-time Olympic champion biathlete, and Bud Keene, a four-time bobsleigh gold medalist and Shaun White’s former coach, have both committed to the Chinese Olympic team in recent years.


The China Sports Column runs every week on SupChina.