BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Here is Xinhua News Agency's selection of the 10 most significant pieces of Chinese sports news in 2019, in chronological order:
The China-Finland Year of Winter Sports was launched in Beijing on January 14 at a ceremony attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto. It was the first of its kind between China and any other country. During the year, more than 60 events and exchanges were organized between China and Finland, boosting cooperation in areas like mass sports, sports culture, scientific research, medicine, physical education and event operations. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
On August 10, the General Office of the State Council of China announced an outline which is aimed to build the country into a leading sports nation, prioritizing the development of grassroots sport, elite sport, the sports industry, sporting culture and sports exchanges. (Xinhua/Jiao Fei)
China hosted the FIBA Basketball World Cup between August 31 and September 15, with the number of participating teams rising from 24 to 32. Spain defeated Argentina 95-75 in the final to clinch the title, while China was knocked out of the round of 16 and failed to grab a berth in next year's Olympic Games.(Xinhua/He Changshan)
China's women's volleyball team produced a perfect run of 11 victories at the 13th FIVB Women's World Cup from September 14 to 29, winning the tournament for the fifth time. It was also the Chinese team's 10th major international title, across the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup.(Xinhua/He Canling)
On September 17, an animated giant panda named Bing Dwen Dwen and a red lantern baby called Shuey Rhon Rhon were unveiled as the two mascots for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The preparatory work for Beijing 2022 remained on track as the main structure for the Winter Olympic Village was completed on December 3, 28 days ahead of schedule, and global recruitment for Games volunteers began on December 5.(Xinhua/Li Ming)
China grabbed three gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, representing the country's best performance at the competition since the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart.(Xinhua/Hou Shaokang)
Daryl Morey, general manager of the National Basketball Association (NBA) club Houston Rockets, caused controversy on October 5 with his stance on Hong Kong. The Chinese Basketball Association condemned his actions and announced it would terminate communication and cooperation with the club.
Under new president Chen Xuyuan, the Chinese Football Association announced on October 16 that it would restructure ownership of the Chinese Super League (CSL), relinquishing its shareholding and allowing the clubs themselves to oversee the league. A series of new rules including a salary cap were unveiled in late December.
The 7th International Military Sports Commission (CISM) Military World Games was held in China's central city of Wuhan from October 18 to 27. Seven world records were set and 85 CISM affiliated records were broken during the 10-day Games, which featured over 9,300 athletes from 109 nations. China collected 133 golds, 64 silvers and 42 bronzes to sit top of the medal table.(Xinhua/Li Ga)
On November 18, China's Supreme People's Court issued a judicial interpretation on the handling of criminal cases related to the smuggling, illegal sale and use of athletic performance-enhancing drugs, which will take effect on January 1, 2020. The move will see harsher punishments for those behind illegal doping activities.