Lin Yu-sian (center) from Chinese Taipei finishes fourth in the men's 100m sprint at the Chengdu FISU World University Games on Wednesday. (WEI XIAOHAO/CHINA DAILY)
Sprinter Lin Yu-sian from Chinese Taipei was one step away from the podium of the men's 100 meters at the Chengdu FISU World University Games, but he said he has already achieved his goal.
"I aimed for reaching the final at the Chengdu games, so when I was standing on the starting line for the final, I did not feel much pressure and was actually very relaxed," the 22-year-old said on Wednesday evening.
Lin, a student from National Taiwan Sport University, finished fourth in the final and improved his personal best to 10.24 seconds.
The gold medalist, Kadrian Goldson from Jamaica, crossed the line in 10.04. The silver medal went to South Africa's Shaun Maswanganyi, and the bronze to China's Chen Guanfeng.
For Lin, the truly emotional moment came earlier on Wednesday during the semifinal, when he hit the finish line first in his heat at 10.29. Seeing the result flash on the screen at the Shuangliu Sports Center Stadium, he burst into tears on the field.
"The last time that I cracked the 10.3-second barrier was more than a year ago, and I was assisted by the wind at that time," he said. "I do not want to be seen as a flash in the pan and have been working hard to adjust and stabilize myself."
Li said that during preparations, he focused on the pure and basic elements of the sport, rather than finishing times.
Reaching the finals carried extra significance for Lin as his mother and brother were among the spectators on Wednesday evening at the stadium.
"They have to leave on Thursday and will have to miss the men's 4x100m relay," he said. "I wanted them to see me on the field as much as possible while they were here."
"Tuesday was also my mother's birthday, and when I called her that night, I promised to give her a belated but unforgettable present on Wednesday, and I made it."
Norway's Jacob Vaula, one of Lin's fellow competitors during the semifinal, stopped to congratulate Lin and gave him a hug when walking past.
Lin said he is always touched by such moments.
"On the field, we are just a group of runners passionate about running and came here to race together," he said.
As always, Lin donned his signature style for the games — a pair of silver-lined running eyeglasses and a red headband with two Chinese words meaning "victory" written on the front.
"The event in Chengdu also boosted my confidence to realize my next goal for the individual race — to reach the final for the upcoming Asian Games," he said.
The 19th Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in September.
While the humid summer weather in Chengdu has posed no challenge for him, Lin said he has so far been careful with his diet, refraining from the numbing spicy cuisine of Sichuan province.
"The weather conditions are OK because it is very much like that in my hometown," he said. "But I'm not good at eating spicy foods."