China competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's ninth appearance at the Summer Olympics since its debut in 1952. A total of 384 Chinese athletes, 136 men and 248 women, were selected by the Chinese Olympic Committee to compete in 28 sports. For the third time in its Olympic history, China was represented by more female than male athletes.
China left Athens with a total of 63 Olympic medals – 32 golds, 17 silver, and 14 bronze – finishing third in the overall medal standings and second only to the United States in the gold medal tally.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=2004 Athens: Medal Tally )〕 The Chinese delegation proved particularly successful in several sports, winning nine medals each in diving and shooting, eight in weightlifting, six in table tennis, and five each in badminton and judo. Chinese athletes dominated in badminton, diving, and table tennis, where they each won gold medals in most sporting events. Three Chinese athletes managed to defend their titles from the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, while six of them won more than a single medal in Athens. China's team-based athletes came strong and successful in Athens, as the women's volleyball team managed to strike the Russians for the gold medal.
Among the nation's medalists were hurdler Liu Xiang, who emerged as China's first male athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in men's track and field, badminton player Zhang Ning in the women's singles, diving tandem Wu Minxia and Guo Jingjing in the women's synchronized platform, and tennis players Li Ting and Sun Tiantian, who became the first Asians to capture an Olympic title in the women's doubles. Badminton player Gao Ling, who won a gold and a silver in both the mixed doubles with Zhang Jun and the women's doubles with Huang Sui, became the most decorated Chinese athlete in the sporting history with a total of four Olympic medals. Along with Zhang Jun and Gao Ling for their Olympic defense campaign, taekwondo jin Chen Zhong successfully repeated her gold medal from Sydney in the women's heavyweight division.
With Beijing being the host city of the 2008 Summer Olympics, a traditional Chinese segment was performed during the closing ceremony.
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