"Congratulations to the chairman! You’re awesome!"
In a Weibo post on the results of the Olympic trials, hundreds of messages were mostly congratulating Xiangdong Wu, who finished fifth in the race. After the game, Xiangdong bluntly said: "When I saw the comments, I thought they were under my personal account."
On April 11th, the Xuzhou International Marathon and Olympic Trials came to an end. Xiangdong Wu was running in the first group but fought his way at the last 2 km with the final score of 2:11:36. Although he did not get in the top three and was six seconds slower than the Olympic mark, it was another PB for Xiangdong Wu after his performance in Nanjing, which he admitted was satisfied enough.
In a deep dialogue, Xiangdong Wu said he doesn’t have any expectations of the Olympic Games, but just making individual efforts to achieve. Also, he mentioned that he still has a certain gap with Guojian Dong and Jianhua Peng. He’s honest, humorous, and he doesn’t talk about grand goals -- this may be the reason why people like Xiangdong Wu on social media. He is a kind of group connection and is loved and blessed by people.
# From breaking 220 to run in 211
# PB over 9 minutes less than 2 years
In 2019, Xiangdong Wu is still trying to break 220, and he also had confusion. Honestly, as a professional athlete in the system, the score of 2 hr 20 min can only be regarded as the foundation. Looking at the list of registered marathon runners in China, Xiangdong Wu was only the first class at that time, and it was difficult to reach the top.
This situation changed in 2020. From 2 hr 17 min in the Xiamen Marathon at the beginning of 2020 to 2 hr 15 min in Taiyuan Marathon, and then to 2 hr 12 min in Nanjing Marathon, Xiangdong Wu was like "opening the plugin" to improving PB a great deal each time. The score of 2:12:50 in the 2020 Nanjing Marathon makes him ranked seventh in China.
This time in Xuzhou, Xiangdong Wu rewrote his PB to 2:11:36 with a cold. Xiangdong said that he was very satisfied with this result. Through three months of winter training, although I’m still behind the front runners, I still feel the improvement of my capability.
"I actually felt that I was pretty fast in the first half of the 65 min 30 sec and actually lost speed in the second half of the 66 minutes. It's not as similar as the Nanjing marathon which runs out of negative pace. Even a lot of people regretted (the result), I'm satisfied with it. Make some progress, and keep improving afterwards."
Affected by the epidemic in 2020, Xiangdong Wu spent a long time training in his hometown Anhui. Since the Haicang half marathon at the end of the year, Xiangdong Wu has not participated in any official competition. Three months before the Xuzhou Championship, he finally was able to return to Yunnan to follow the plan guided by Guowei Zhang and complete a high-quality winter training.
When it comes to the rapid progress of this one and a half years, Xiangdong Wu said that this is an accumulation gained by the two years of training, which concentrated for more than a year and now showed.
Xiangdong Wu is also an active joker on various social media platforms, but now he is a joker with PB 211.
#Seemingly not working
#Non-professional popular blogger
Wu Xiangdong, registered in Anhui, trains in Yunnan all year round. Apart from being a professional athlete, he is also a heavy user of social media and an excellent sports blogger.
Through social platforms, Xiangdong Wu shared the daily life of the relatively closed professional team with the public and allowed more fans to learn more about the private training life of the "great runners" outside from the media lens.
"You don’t know my best friends? Dafu (Shaohui Yang), Brother Dou (Guojian Dong), and Peng Peng (Jianhua Peng)."
"Jianhua Peng is so funny, saying Brother Dong, please help me pick a car. I said what is the approximate price and I helped him look very serious. But in the end, he didn't have a driver's license. So I wanted to hammer him."
In the monotonous and repetitive training life, the ridicule or play of several training partners is the norm in the base, and it is also a kind of lubricant in the relatively boring professional team environment. Xiangdong shared what he did most often outside of training. "Browse Weibo, watch Bilibili, and play switch."
On Weibo, Xiangdong will take his time to reply to netizens' messages. For daily messages, he often replies fascinatingly; for some unfriendly comments, he would also directly "reply" against them. He rarely shares training content or running tips dogmatically, but more on his daily life and the daily lives of his teammates in the Chenggong training base.
"Maybe everyone likes me as a joker." Xiangdong Wu talked about his popularity on the Internet. "It's just that there was less attention before, as all of it was me talking to myself haha."
Xiangdong Wu never regards himself as a "great runner" in online platform communication. As an absolutely capable person in the running field, he always communicates with running lovers from a friendly, scientific perspective. Everyone knows him because of the "famous scene" of the Shanghai Half Marathon in 2019, or maybe because of his funny short videos of him and "the second" Le Xu.
As for the origin of the nickname "Chairman", presumably to all his crazy fans, no more explanation is needed. Next time if you meet Xiangdong Wu at the competition, just call him “Chairman”.
#Running is my job
#But there’re poems and dreams faraway
In Xiangdong Wu's running philosophy, running is his profession and his means for a living. Even in the interview, he frankly stated that he has not reached the realm of love.
"I think passion means really like running, that is the feeling and state of falling in love with running spontaneously. In fact, I can't reach that state. I have not been so self-disciplined." said Xiangdong Wu, "because I use the word ‘self-discipline’ it means that I don’t love it so much. Because training requires self-discipline."
Xiangdong Wu's understanding of running is more like a career, and he needs to invest his energy to do it well. Improving performance and scoring high in competitions is what a registered athlete should do. You don't have to reach the level of passion.
"As a boy, I also like digital 3C, cars, and models."
Xiangdong Wu said that if there’s anything restricted by being an athlete, it is to travel abroad and play football every day. For the rest, because the Internet is now more developed, he can follow his passion through the Internet.
Now, Xiangdong Wu has completed a very important task in 2021, which is to perform better in the Xuzhou Championship. Next, he will usher in a more important task -- being a good father. Xiangdong Wu revealed that he is now a prospective father. Recently, he is consulting with a new dad, Shaohui Yang, about his experience in babysitting.
Xiangdong Wu and his wife are high school classmates. Because of his status as an athlete, the two actually don't spend much time with each other.
"I want to thank her for her understanding and support. After all, I often leave for a few months. And she is also very hard. It is not easy for all mothers." said Xiangdong Wu when talking about his wife.
After three months of winter training in Yunnan, Xiangdong Wu rewarded himself with a car. When talking about preparations for this year's National Games, Xiangdong said that there is no pressure because "the leaders have no compulsory requirements for me."
#We Like Xiangdong Wu
#Not only because he is fast
This is Xiangdong Wu, honest and genuine as always, doing his job well and constantly pursuing excellence.
Xiangdong Wu is one of many Chinese professional athletes. He takes his career seriously, explores different fields, and treats all strangers with kindness.
In the field of competitive sports, Xiangdong Wu has now reached the top of the marathon field through hard work. Regardless of what job or industry, the spirit in him is worthy for young people today to learn.
Do what you are doing well and work hard for it, then you will surely usher in accumulation and harvest.
We like Xiangdong Wu, not only because of his speed.