BEIJING, China - CCTV, the predominant state TV broadcaster in mainland China, announced its Top 10 Sports News Of The Year stories on New Year's Eve, voted for by sports reporters and editors of the CCTV Sports Channel - and it's no surprise that Li Na's rise to No.3 was at No.2 on the list.
While her 2011 season was historic - she became Asia's first Grand Slam champion at the French Open and subsequently tied the Asian ranking record by rising to No.4 in the world - Li's 2013 season was one better, as her incredible consistency throughout the year saw her rise to No.3 on the year-end rankings, making her the highest-ranked Asian player in tennis history. And China was watching.
The only sports story of the year that came out with more votes, and No.1 on the list, was from soccer - the Guangzhou Hengda Evergrande won the Asian Football Confederation Champions League title.
Other stories on the list included Zhang Peimeng becoming the first Chinese sprinter ever to hit 10.00 seconds in the 100 meters (No.3), Xue Chen and Zhang Xi winning the Beach Volleyball World Championships title, the first Chinese duo to win a major beach volleyball title in the world (No.6) and Beijing and Zhangjiakou (Hebei Province) launching a bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2022 (No.9).
CCTV, or China Central Television, broadcast its first program in 1958 and currently has a network of 45 different channels broadcasting different programs. It is available to over a billion viewers.