Cheng Fei

Cheng Fei
Cheng Fei
Personal information
Full name Cheng Fei
Country represented  China
Born May 29, 1988 (1988-05-29) (age 23)
Huangshi, Hubei, China
Hometown Wuhan, Hubei
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior
Head coach(es) Lu Shanzhen
Assistant coach(es) Liu Qun Lin
Former coach(es) Yao Juying
Music Yellow River Concerto (2008)

Cheng Fei (Chinese: ; pinyin: Chéng Fēi; born May 29, 1988 in Huangshi, Hubei) is a Chinese gymnast.[1] She is a three-time World Champion on the vault (2005–2007) and 2006 World Champion on floor exercise. She was a member of the gold medal-winning Chinese teams for the 2006 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Aarhus, Denmark and 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She was also a member of the silver medal-winning Chinese team for the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.



Her father worked as a shipping clerk and her mother was a worker in a tire factory. Her father trained her in calisthenics before school every morning.[2] At the age of 5, Cheng won her first competitive medal at a local competition. The 7-year-old Cheng was sent to Wuhan, where she joined the Wuhan Institute of Physical Education and officially entered the national sports program. Her first coach, Yao Juying remembered her as being uniquely 'hard-working' and extraordinarily focused.[2] At the age of ten, she was invited to join the Hubei provincial team. In late 2001, at the age of 13, she was accepted to the Chinese National Team.[1] Her coaches are head coach Lu Shanzhen,[3] and Liu Qun Lin.[1]

Cheng Fei is well known in the sporting world for being highly consistent, powerful and elegant, as well as displaying a fine level of sportsmanship. Sandra Izbasa, 2008 Olympic Floor Champion has described her as a perfectionist, a great sport and a good friend. Shawn Johnson, 2008 Olympic Beam Champion, was also quoted to have called Cheng Fei 'inspirational' and 'a great competitor'. Cheng Fei's leadership abilities are of paramount importance to the Chinese Women's Gymnastics Team.

Competitive history

Cheng Fei is a vaulting and floor exercise specialist. She has had national success in gymnastics as a two-time Chinese National Floor Exercise Champion (2004–2005), a two-time Chinese National Vault medalist (2003 and 2005) and the 2004 Chinese National Balance Beam Champion.

Internationally, she has been very successful as well. She made herself into the 2004 Olympic Games team in Athens, Greece. She qualified in the floor exercise final. In the team final, she contributed heavily to the team, a 9.475 on vault and a 9.662 on floor, although multiple falls from her teammates prevented her from getting a team medal.[4] Individually, she finished 4th on floor exercise, with the score of 9.412.[4] She was the bronze medalist at the 2004 World Cup Final on floor exercise.

On 23 November 2005, Cheng made history at the 2005 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia, for being the first gymnast ever to successfully perform one of the most difficult vaults ever attempted by a woman. The vault consisting of: a round-off onto the springboard, a half-turn onto the vaulting horse and a 1½ somersault with a 540-degree turn in a straight body position, is now officially recognized in the FIG Code of Points as "The Cheng" which carries a D-score of 6.5 under the 2009 Code of Points.[5]

At the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, she competed on vault and floor exercise, qualifying in first position for both event finals. She contributed those exercises to the Chinese team toward their victory in the team championship and also went on to win the World titles on both vault and floor exercise. Cheng also won the gold medal on the vault at the 2006 World Cup Final in São Paulo, Brazil.

In 2007, Cheng began the year by winning the vault, balance beam and floor exercise titles at a World Cup event in Maribor, Slovenia. She was undefeated on vaulting and floor exercise in 2007 until the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. At those championships, Cheng was recognized as the leader for the Chinese women's team and though Cheng won her third World title on the vault, she made a serious error on the vault during the team championship where the Chinese team finished 2nd. She went on to finish 5th on floor exercise, with a score of 15.050, after getting out of the bounds with both feet in her final tumbling series.

Cheng fulfilled her goal of competing at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China as the captain to the Chinese team. She led the team to win China's first-ever women's gymnastics Olympic team Gold medal. Individually, she won a bronze medal on vault (even after falling on her own "Cheng Fei vault") and another bronze medal on balance beam and placing 7th in the floor exercise event final, after an uncharacteristic fall. She was one of the only three gymnasts to have entered 3 Olympic Finals (others are Nastia Liukin and Anna Pavlova). She led the qualifications in both the Vault and Floor categories, also entering Beam finals with a ranking 5. However, she faltered during the individual events and cried after the unfortunate Vault and Floors finals. After the Olympics, she said that she cried about her failure to capture the two golds she wanted most until she could cry no more. However, she received great support from both her fellow countrymen and the international gymnastics community, who acknowledged her talents and abilities as an exceptional gymnast.[6] In a show of respect she gave the winner of the balance beam final Shawn Johnson of USA a small box with silk inside it. After the Olympics Games, she competed in various competitions. She won three gold medals on vault, floor exercise and balance beam at the DTG World Cup in Stuttgart.[7] Her last 2008 competition was the 14th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Madrid where she won two gold medals on vault and floor exercise.[8]

In 2009, she competed at the 25th Universiade in Belgrade and won a team Gold medal and a Silver medal on Vault </ref name=gymnasticresults>"25th Universiade". </ref>

She is now recovering from a leg injury and has expressed hopes to compete again at the London 2012 Olympics. She competed in the 2011 Chinese National Championships in May on Vault and Floor Exercise. She led the qualifications on Vault and finished 2nd on final. She announced her intention to compete in the University Games in August, but was reported to be suffering from leg injury again and retreated from the competition.


As of 2008, Cheng Fei performed the following skills on these apparatuses:

Apparatus Skills A Score Top Score in World Championship/World Cup/Olympic Competition
Vault 1. Yurchenko 2½ (Amanar) 6.5 16.150 (Olympic Qualifications)
2. Round-off flic-flac with ½ turn on – stretched salto forward with 1½ turn off (Cheng) 6.5 16.000 (2006 World Championships)
Uneven Bars (Has not competed on this apparatus since 2005) - -
Balance Beam Free jump mount; Full turn with leg at horizontal; Flic-flac + Salto bwd tucked with 1/1 twist; Pike Back Salto; Split jump + Sheep jump; Switch split ring leap + Back tuck salto; Aerial Walkover + Rulfova; Front tuck salto; flic-flac + flic-flac + 2.5 twist back salto 6.8 15.950 (Olympic Beam final)
Floor Exercise Double twisting double tuck back; whip + 3-1/1 Twist; Split leap full; Double twisting (Side-pass); 1-1/2 Twist + Tuck Front 1-1/1; Switch split ring leap + split leap; triple spin; Full twisting double pike back 6.4 15.875 (2006 World Championships)

Competitive highlights

Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2004 World Cup Ghent Vault 5 9.287
Glasgow Vault 3 9.187
Floor 2 9.550
Birmingham Vault 5 9.362
Floor 3 9.562
Olympic Games Athens Team 7 110.008 3 151.085
Vault 16 9.375
Floor 4 9.412 2 9.650
Beam 43 8.925
2005 World Cup New York Vault 3 9.331
Beam 5 8.937
Ghent Vault 3 9.312
World Championships Melbourne Vault 1 9.656 1 9.631
Floor 28 8.637
2006 World Cup São Paulo Vault 1 15.600
Floor 5 14.625
Shanghai Vault 1 15.125
Floor 1 15.400
Lyon Vault 1 14.987
Floor 1 14.975
World Championship Aarhus Team 1 182.200 2 239.525
Vault 1 15.712 1 15.975
Floor 1 15.875 1 15.475
2007 World Cup Maribor Vault 1 14.812 1 14.750
Floor 1 14.825 1 15.050
Beam 1 15.675 1 15.750
Shanghai Vault 1 15.462
Beam 1 16.150
World Championship Stuttgart Team 2 183.450 2 241.175
Vault 1 15.937 1 15.625
Floor 5 15.075 1 15.375
Beam 15 15.300
2008 World Cup Tianjin Vault 1 14.975
Floor 1 15.550
Beam 1 15.925
Olympic Games Beijing Team 1 188.900 1 248.275
Vault 3 15.562 1 15.912
Floor 7 14.550 1 15.750
Beam 3 15.950 4 15.875
World Cup Stuttgart Vault 1 14.900 1 14.962
Floor 1 15.250 1 14.975
Beam 1 15.425 1 15.525
Madrid Vault 1 15.050
Floor 1 15.375
Beam 6 13.825

Floor Music

  • 2003: Lord of the Dance from Riverdance
  • 2004: Variations from Don Quixote
  • 2005–2007: Mas Zarzuela
  • 2008: Yellow River Concerto


External links

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