Obituary: Shangguan Pengfei, 1988 – 2011

Shangguan Pengfei (上官鹏飞), a Sanshou athlete from Henan Province, died on December 11 or December 12. He had been in a coma for 42 days after he had been knocked out by Cui Fei (崔飞), an athlete with Beijing’s Armed Police Force. Shangguan had reportedly suffered a fatal blow to the back of his head in a national semi-final in Haikou, Hainan, on October 31. Officials from China’s sports authority denied reports that treatment had been untimely, and other allegations.

Red Net Changsha (红网长沙) reports that in a briefing in  Beijing on Wednesday, the Wushu Management Center gave its first official comment on Shangguan’s death. All first-aid and further measures had been carried out properly, Management Center officials said, but fierce discussions among netizens followed the briefing anyway. There had been online allegations that the referee hadn’t stopped the fight in time, after Shangguan had been hit on the back of his head. The Management Center said that a referee committee had watched the footage of the fight on the same evening and had come to the conclusion that neither  Shangguan nor  Cui had used inproper means, and that the referee had acted correctly.

In what is said could be a confusion between Cui, and another man of the same name’s microblog, netizens had reportedly not only accused the referee, but Cui, too – for “lacking martial arts virtues” (缺乏武德). “Human-flesh searchers” criticized Cui for “travelling” and “visiting good restaurants”. Answering a question from an IFeng (Phoenix) reporter, Wushu Mangement official Gao Xiaojun (高小军) said that Cui had been to the hospital after the match and that both he and other members of his team had spontaneously expressed their regrets to Shangguan’s family.

Shangguan Pengfei was born in Jiaozuo (焦作市),  a prefecture-level city in Henan Province , on October 24, 1988. According to Baike Baidu, he had travelled to Shaolin Monastery a number of times ever since he had been a child. Among his main personal sports achievements was the Wushu School’s championship in 2008, and ranking third in third at the 2010 World Wushu Championship (国际武术搏击王争霸赛季军), apparently in Chongqing.

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