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Zhang Hsing-Hsien

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameZhang•Hsing-Hsien
Used nameZhang•Hsing-Hsien
Name orderOriental
Original name張•星賢
Other namesSeiken Cho, Zhang Xingxian
Born2 October 1910 in Taichung City (TPE)
Died14 March 1989 in Taipei (TPE)
AffiliationsWaseda University, Tokyo (JPN) / South Manchuria Railway, Manchuria (CHN)
NOC(s) Japan
Ethnic nationTPE

Biography

Zhang Hsing-Hsien attended the Taichung Commercial School, where he began to practice athletics. After graduating he worked at the railway office of Taiwan’s governor. His first success as an athlete on a regional level came in the triple jump, but he was not allowed to proceed to the national trials for the Far Eastern Games. In 1931, he enrolled in Waseda University and joined the university’s track club. Because the competition in Japan was particularly strong in jumping, he changed to the 400 metres. After setting a national record in the 400 m hurdles with 56.8, Zhang qualified for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics to become the first Chinese to take part in Olympic Games. However, he did not advance from the heats in either event. His second appearance came in 1936 as a member of the Japanese 4x400 relay team.

In the meantime, Zhang graduated from Waseda and joined the South Manchuria Railway. Although still active himself, he was also in charge of training and promotion of the company’s sports division. After working seven years in Manchuria, he was transferred to China and eventually became deputy manager of the Beijing railway administration. There, he continued to be involved in regional championships.

In 1946, he returned to Taiwan to became a teacher at today’s National Taichung University of Education. Although Zhang was already 36-years-old, he won the triple jump, decathlon, and 4x100 relay at the first major post-war competition in Taiwan. In 1947, he won the long jump. His last major appearance was in 1948 at the National Athletic Meet in Shanghai, ranking second in the triple jump and third in the long jump.

Zhang retired from active sports and joined the Taiwan Provincial Cooperation Bank. In 1948, he was elected president of the Athletic Association of Taiwan Province and three years later became its secretary-general, a position he held for 20 years. He also served as a coach of Taiwan’s team at the 1954 and 1958 Asian Games, but never at the Olympics. He particularly tried to re-establish ties with the Japanese sports scene.

Personal Bests: 400 – 49.8 (1932); 400H – 55.9 (1933).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics 400 metres, Men Olympic 5 h5 r1/4 Representing Japan    
  400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 4 h1 r1/3
  4 × 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic Japan DNS
1936 Summer Olympics Athletics 4 × 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic Japan 4 h1 r1/2 Representing Japan