Chinese competitors have put in an excellent performance so far at the ongoing WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition, a replacement for the canceled WorldSkills Shanghai 2022.
As of Monday, Chinese competitors have won eight golds in events including cabinetmaking, print media technology and computer numerical control turning.
Early on Saturday, Li Dexin won the nation's first gold medal in cabinetmaking in this special edition of the event in Switzerland, one of 15 countries and regions hosting the competitions.
It's the first time that a Chinese competitor has won first prize in this event since the nation started taking part in 2017.
Liu Xiaohong, China's team leader of technical experts taking part in the cabinetmaking event, said competitors must make a piece of furniture following a given drawing in a 22-hour period — usually over four days. They must assemble, polish and install hardware to complete the furniture.
Li, the 22-year-old gold-medal winner for cabinetmaking, in an interview with ThePaper.cn, said: "It was quite a challenge for me as it was my first time in a world-class competition. The first problem is language, which brought much difficulty in communicating with international experts and judges."
He said he had been very stressed on the first day of the competition, but gradually found his pace on the second day, adding that it had taken him four years of ups and downs to qualify for the contest.
"All these difficulties and frustrations vanished after the organizers announced the result. I told my parents the good news as soon as I could." After the win, Li told ThePaper.cn that he plans to continue to study for a master's or doctoral degree, and wishes to become a good teacher and pass down his skills and spirit of craftsmanship.
Liu, the team leader, said that winning gold in cabinetmaking is a praiseworthy breakthrough for the nation, and that the accolade would help boost the morale of compatriots in the following events.
"Woodwork is a traditional Chinese skill that has a history of thousands of years. China now is also a key player in the world's furniture market, and produces around 38 percent of the world's furniture with these products sold in over 200 countries and regions," she said.
It was the third time China had entered competitors in the cabinetmaking event. The Chinese team won second prize for cabinetmaking at the 45th WorldSkills event in Kazan, Russia in 2019.
According to a release by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China has sent 36 competitors across 34 events held in countries and regions including Switzerland, Germany, France and Finland.
Competitions in these places are in progress except for several events that are scheduled to be held in Austria in November.
Shanghai should have hosted the 46th WorldSkills this year but canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak in the city.
As a replacement, WorldSkills decided in June that a special edition of 62 competitive events would be held in 15 countries and regions in Asia, Europe and Africa from the middle of September to late November.