Chapter 58: A sports meeting full of youthful vigor and friendship (Part One)
Upon returning to the school, before Xia Qiu could ask her classmates about her missed lessons, she was informed that the annual autumn sports meeting would be held very soon.
Liu Lingmei was in charge of the sports registration for the girls. Looking at her petite figure as she worked hard to persuade the girls to participate in the sports programs, Xia Qiu decided to support her work and enrolled in some of the races. Not wanting to cheat with her spirit power, she studied the programs and selected the 1,500-meter race and 4*100 relay. In the three years when they were in the junior high school, she and Liu Lingmei had participated in the relay race each year.
Du He was responsible for the boys’ registration and each team was fighting to have Ouyang Xiaoleng. As the captain of the basketball team, Dong Haofan was determined to get this genius player into his team at all means, as if Ouyang Xiaoleng would guarantee the team’s success. Ouyang Xiaoleng wasn’t good at handling their entreaties and readily agreed to their invitations so they would stop bothering him. In the end, something amusing happened—Ouyang Xiaoleng’s name appeared in ten programs. After discussions, they eventually deleted five programs for him.
During this week, the PE classes became training sessions for the sports meeting. In the past, Xia Qiu would have been panting heavily after running 400 meters, but now she didn’t even sweat after running 1,500 meters. After practicing baton passing, the other three girls pulled her to watch the boys’ basketball training.
Wearing a jersey and basketball shoes, he looked very dashing; but he’d be dashing in anything with his gorgeous looks. Dribbling and jumping, he was so dazzling in the court that the girls watching from the sideline screamed in admiration. Xia Qiu’s heart throbbed too as she watched him.
After the training, he turned around and walked toward Xia Qiu under everyone’s eyes, asking, “What do you think?”
Looking at him, she answered teasingly, “Very good! Are you a genius?”
She chuckled at his matter-of-factly answer.
In the round robin before the sports day, the basketball team from Xia Qiu’s class defeated their opponent teams and entered the finals, which was scheduled on the afternoon of the sports day. The sports meeting was held on a fine cool autumn day and the sprint races including the relay races were the first games on the day. Liu Lingmei and Xia Qiu were the third and fourth leg in their team. Before the race began, they practiced baton passing several times and felt quite confident in themselves.
But during the race, the second leg, the girl named Zhao An, lost her balance and fell before passing the baton to Liu Lingmei. The audience yelled in alarm.
But Zhao An struggled up and limped on despite the sharp pain from her ankle; she passed the baton to Liu Lingmei and said, “Please! Please finish the race. Don’t let our hard training go to waste!”
Gripping the baton tightly, Liu Lingmei nodded at her and dashed out; she was determined to finish the race with Xia Qiu as best as they could even though they were a considerate distance behind the other teams. At this thought, she ran at a speed that she didn’t know she was capable of. As her petite frame dashed on the track, the 100-meter distance before her unfolded as if she was in a slow-motion scene.
When the baton was passed to Xia Qiu’s hand, she shot out like an arrow with nothing but running on her mind. This was no longer a race against other teams but a commitment among the four girls. When she dashed past the finish line, cheers came into her ears. Zhao An walked over to her with help from Liu Lingmei and the girl running the first leg.
“Qiu! How did you run so fast?”
“We won! Do you know that? We won!”
“Yeah! We won!”
The girls yelled incoherently and cried in elation as they hugged each other tightly.
Xia Qiu’s 1,500-meter race took place at the same time as the men’s basketball match. After she finished the race, the basketball match had entered the second half. Their opponent team was Class Five of Grade 12, which consisted of five members of the school team and was the champion for the last two years. Even though they were facing opponents who had an absolute advantage in height and techniques, Ouyang Xiaoleng didn’t plan to win the match with his spirit power; after all, he was in the public and respected the rules of competition.
In the second half of the match, as the small forward of his team, Ouyang Xiaoleng was tightly marked by his opponents and didn’t have a chance to score. He’d have charging foul if he got impatient and forced his way out. Xia Qiu watched him anxiously since she knew him very well; it was very difficult for him to depend on his teammates and pass the ball to them.
Still, she yelled at the court, “Go! Go!”
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