Sports in Taiwan
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Sports are a popular recreation activity in Taiwan. Some of the most common sports include basketball, baseball, soccer and softball. Martial arts such as t'ai chi ch'uan and taekwondo is also practiced by many people. International-known athletes include Yang Chuan-kwang, Chi Cheng, and Yani Tseng among others.
The most popular spectator sport is baseball. It is commonly considered the national sport in Taiwan. Baseball was first introduced during Japanese rule. It is the most popular spectator sport in Taiwan. The professional baseball league is the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), and the main playoff competition is the Taiwan Series. Taiwan has been "exporting" baseball talents to Japan and United States over the past few decades, such as Tai-Yuan Kuo (Taigen Kaku) to the Seibu Lions, Chien-Ming Wang to the New York Yankees/Washington Nationals, and Wei-Yin Chen to the Baltimore Orioles. The Chinese Taipei baseball team is currently the seventh ranked baseball team in the world.
Due to political reasons and pressures from the People's Republic of China, the organisations or national teams from Taiwan have been competing as Chinese Taipei in international sporting events, such as the Olympic Games.
Basketball is the most popular ball sport in Taiwan that people actually play. The men's and women's basketball leagues are the Super Basketball League (SBL) and the Women's Super Basketball League (WSBL), respectively. The Chinese Taipei men's national basketball team won the silver medal at the Asian Championship in 1960 and 1963 and bronze in 1973 and 1989. The Chinese Taipei women's national basketball team won the silver medal at the 1972 Asian Basketball Championship for Women. The team won bronze at the event in 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1988, 1999 and 2005. Further, the women's team won silver at the 2006 Asian Games.
Due to Japanese (long before the J. League made football popular in Japan) and American influence, football has not been as popular as baseball or basketball in Taiwan, although it has a history of success at the Asian level. Football is run by the Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA), which in turn runs the national teams for men and women and several domestic competitions.
The top league of football, the Intercity Football League, is relatively semi-professional and dominated by two teams, Tatung F.C. from Taipei and Taipower F.C. from Kaohsiung. As an incentive, the Asian Football Confederation runs the AFC President's Cup continental club competition for countries where football is relatively undeveloped, and these two clubs often take turns representing Taiwan in it.
There are many amateur football clubs run by foreign expatriates within Taiwan, but they run their own amateur competitions. An example is 100 Pacers F.C. in Kaohsiung. At youth level, there are Highschool Football League, National Youth Cup, and football program in the National High School Games.
Rugby union has had some presence in Taiwan for most of the post war period. The national sevens team has been particularly successful.
Taiwanese competitors regularly participate in archery tournaments, occasionally winning medals in major sport events. Taiwanese archery team is also one of the top teams in the world.
Many Taiwanese people play table tennis because it does not require a lot of strength and space. The competitions, however, are not watched by many, because the speed and complex technique is difficult for average audiences to follow.
2007 Tour de Taiwan (2007年國際自由車環台賽) was held in March 2007.
Golf was introduced during the Japanese colonial period, with the first golf club opening in 1919. In 1982, T.C. Chen became the first professional golfer from Taiwan to earn a PGA Tour card. After a period of decline, Golf has become increasingly popular in Taiwan. Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) was the 2008 LPGA Rookie of the Year. She is the youngest player to win five major golf championships —either men's majors or women's majors— and is currently ranked number 1 in the Women's World Golf Rankings since February 2011.
Marathon races are held in many places in Taiwan each year. Many marathoners from all over the world participate in these races. In the 2007 Carrefour Taipei International Expressway Marathon, African runners dominated both men and women divisions.
In recent years both male and female tennis players from Taiwan got solid results and rankings. Lu Yen-hsun (盧彥勳) and Wang Yeu-Tzuoo (王宇佐) has been ranked Top 100 (Lu's highest rank is no. 33 in July 2010, and Wang's was 85 in March 2006). Both of them set records for Taiwanese tennis history. As of the female, before the new generation that included Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然), Chuang Chia-jung (莊佳容) and Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) rose, Wang Shi-ting (王思婷) was the most well-known tennis player in Taiwan. Wang Shi-ting was ranked No. 26 in 1993.
Taiwanese competitors regularly participate in Taekwondo tournaments from Asian Games to the Olympics. In 2004 Summer Olympics, Chen Shih-hsin (陳詩欣) and Chu Mu-yen (朱木炎) won the first two Gold Medals for Taiwan.
- "Baseball most popular sport in Taiwan: poll". Focus Taiwan News. 2010-07-03. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- Taiwan Baseball a new rallying point for national pride. Culture.tw (2008-09-30). Retrieved on 2013-02-04.
- IBAF World Rankings. ibaf.org
- In Taiwan cricket is a very famous game. It is played by lots of people in different age groups. A Passion for Hoops
- Chung, Oscar (2008-01-12) Old Glory, New Hope. taiwanreview.nat.gov.tw
- 歡迎光臨-台豐高爾夫球俱樂部. Thgc.com.tw. Retrieved on 2013-02-04.
- Central News Agency "African runners win Taipei marathon held on No. 1 expressway" Taiwan News, 2007-03-26
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sports in Taiwan|
- Sports Affairs Council, Executive Yuan
- Taiwan’s First Sport in its Second Century: Baseball in Taiwanese Culture (in English)
- High flying hoop dreams: A brief history of the development of basketball in Taiwan (in English)