Chinese Sports Icons Who Made Headlines in 2015

| Jan 06, 2016 12:04 AM EST

Ning Zetao is one the sports icons who made buzz this 2015.

As 2015 comes to an end, China Daily has rounded up nine Chinese athletes that made iconic and historic feats for the past year.

Su Bingtian, who seeks another breakthrough at the Rio Olympics, became the first Chinese to surpass the 10-second mark in 100 meter. Clocking a career best of 9.99 seconds, he finished third at the 2015 IAAF Diamond League Eugene meet on May 30.

The 26-year-old Su again achieved the same running time at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

Swimmer Ning Zetao brought home another glory for the country as he bagged a blue-ribbon 100-meter medal at the world championships in Kazan, Russia, on Aug. 6--a first for any Asian since 1973. He won the men's 100-meter freestyle final in 47.84 seconds.

Twenty-one-year-old Zhu Ting again proved her might in the volleyball court this 2015 as she led the Chinese team in winning their fourth FIVB World Cup title. Playing a key role in securing a berth at the 2016 Olympics, the lady spiker was also voted as the event's Most Valuable Player.

Champion Liu Hong also made headlines as she snatched the world record at the 2015 IAAF Race Walking Challenge's Spanish leg back in June. She also bagged the grand prize in the women's 20-kilometer race walk at the world championships in the Chinese capital in August.

Sun Yang, another power swimmer, won the men's 400-meter and 800-meter free titles at the Kazan, Russia-hosted FINA World Championships in August. The 24-year-old sports figure also reclaimed the honor Best Male Athlete of the event.

Guo Chuan, along with his team from Germany, Russia and France, made a breakthrough achievement as he voyaged--non-stop and non-supply--through the Arctic Ocean's Northeast Passage from Russia's Murmansk City to the Bering Straits within 13 days. Being the first team to do so, the group covered a total of 3,240 nautical miles.

Ultra-marathon runner Chen Penbin made it to this year's list as he completed a feat of running 100 marathons in a span of 100 days. The 37-year-old runner kicked off the challenge on April 2 in Guangzhou and ended on July 10 in Beijing.

After beating Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei, badminton star Chen Long retained the men's singles crown at the world championships on Aug. 16. The 26-year-old athlete also helped the country attain its sixth consecutive Sudirman Cup win back in May. He was also the first to have his world ranking points reach 100,000.

Lastly, Guangzhou Evergrande captain Zheng Zhi led his team in winning their second AFC Champions League tilt in three years. The midfielder was also short-listed for the 2015 Asian Player of the Year award.

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