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Chinese Dancer Wins International Gold Medal

June 29, 2002|From Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — China's Wu Haiyan says performing with the best dancers in the world was as great an honor as the gold medal she received in USA International Ballet Competition.

Wu was awarded the medal in the senior women's division on Friday. The competition is to close Sunday with a performance by medal winners.

The event is the United States' official international ballet competition. The two-week competition is held every four years in Jackson. About 100 dancers from 24 countries competed this year.

Wu, 23, performs with the Central Ballet in Beijing, also known as the National Ballet. She has been dancing since she was 10.

American dancer Joseph Phillips, a native of Columbia, S.C., took the gold in the men's junior division. Phillips, a 16-year-old student at the North Carolina School for the Arts, said he plans to pursue a career in classical ballet.

No gold medals were awarded in the men's senior or women's junior divisions.

Bruce Marks, chairman of the international jury, said gold medals are not always awarded because dancers are judged on international standards. "We are comparing these youngsters to the best dancers around," he said.

Medalists in each of four divisions receive cash prizes, Marks said.

Also receiving medals in the women's senior division were Sarah Lamb of Boston, representing the U.S. (silver) and Katia Carranza of Mexico (bronze).

Other medalists in the men's junior division were Danny Tidwell of New York City, representing the U.S. (silver), Yudai Fukuoka of Japan and Jiao Yang of China (bronze).

Medalists in the men's senior division were Li Jun of China (silver) and Mikhail Ilyin of Russia (bronze); and in the women's junior division: Sarah Kathryn Lane of Rochester, N.Y., representing the U.S. (silver) and Sang Yi Han of South Korea (bronze).

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