TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Hsu Kai-kuei (許凱貴) made history today by being the first Taiwanese athlete to win a gold medal in wushu (武術) at a Universiade games, the first time the sport has been included in the international sports competition.
Competing in the men's Taolu (forms, 套路) Nangun (Southern Staff, 南棍), a style of wushu that is based on southern styles of traditional kung fu which employs the use of the staff as a weapon, and Nanquan division (Southern Fist, 南拳), a style of wushu based on southern traditional kung fu systems of barehanded fighting, Hsu took the gold by achieving a total score of 19.18.
In the first round of the competition on Aug. 27, Hsu scored 9.62 in the Nangun competition, which was enough to take first place. In the second round today (Aug. 29), Hsu finished a mere one hundredth of a point behind Huang Junhua of Macau with a score of 9.56 in Nangun, thus still leaving him enough breathing room to hold on for the gold medal.
When Hsu set foot on the carpet today, the home crowd loudly cheered 加油! (Go!), and Hsu did not disappoint the fans with his gold medal-winning performance. When the final results were displayed on the big screen, Hsu jumped for joy and bowed and waved to the audience.
Hsu's Nanquan performance Aug. 29:
The 26-year-old Hsu grew up in a temple and always loved watching performances of "Eight Generals" (八家將), Santaizi (三太子), and other traditional performing folk troupes. He was always fascinated by Taiwan's martial arts culture. At the Incheon Asian Games in 2014 he won a bronze medal in the same event, and at the 2016 Taoyuan Asian Championship he won gold in Nangun and a silver in the group forms category.
Hsu's gold medal makes Taiwan's team just more win away from a record smattering 20 gold medals at a single Universiade games.
Hsu's Nangun performance Aug. 27: