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HOUSTON, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Houston Rockets officially retired Yao Ming's No. 11 jersey during the halftime break of their game against the Chicago Bulls at Toyota Center on Friday night with the presence of Yao Ming and his family.


During the grand ceremony which is nationally televised, the Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander called Friday night "a great moment in Rocket history, to honor a man of such magnitude" and described Yao as "a really great basketball player."


"Yao was a really, really great player. I wanted him to be viewed as more than that, as an ambassador to the world and especially into China, and what a great person and humanitarian he is," said Alexander, who donated 100,000 U.S. dollars to the Yao Ming Foundation.


The 36-year-old Yao Ming said, "When I first came to town, Houston was no different than any other city in the United States. But as time passed by, all the faces came into memory. Remember this, that Houston for me from now on is not just a word. Every time they mention it, your faces are in my memory, in my brain."


"I hope people see the jersey there and remember the story, not only about myself, but also my teammates, my opponents. We created the story together, just like the other jerseys created the story for us," Yao said.


"Looking back, I didn't expect it to be where I am today. I simply wanted to play basketball," he added.


Fans gave Yao several waves of applaud and a lot of fans shouted to Yao "we love you".


Yao was selected as the first overall pick by the Rockets in 2002 draft and spent nine years - his entire career - with the franchise.


Yao averaged 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while shooting 52 percent from the floor across 486 career games.


He was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Second Team twice. He also became the only player outside of the United States to lead the NBA in All-Star voting.


Persistent injuries forced Yao Ming to hang up his No. 11 jersey in 2011. Last September, the eight-time All-Star entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


Yao has become the sixth Rocket player to have his number retired, joining Clyde Drexler (22), Calvin Murphy (23), Moses Malone (24), Hakeem Olajuwon (34), and Rudy Tomjanovich(45).


By Sportswriter Gao Peng


INCHEON Wholesale Gianluca Lapadula Jersey , South Korea, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino stole the spotlight from superstars Sun Yang and Park Tae-hwan when he outclassed the Olympic champion duo to win the men's 200m freestyle final at the Asian Games here on Sunday.


In one of the most anticipated showdowns at the Asiad, Hagino touched home in one minute 45.23 seconds, edging Sun into second place by just 0.05 seconds. Park took bronze in 1:45.85 Wholesale Giacomo Bonaventura Jersey , missing out on a hat-trick of Asian Games title in the distance.


"It was disappointing in many aspects. The pressure was one part, and it's true that I was tired. The last 20 seconds were especially regretful," said Park.


Sun slowed down in the last few meters as the trio headed to the finish neck-and-neck. The 22-year-old blamed his defeat on a hand injury.


"My hand hurt towards the end, so I couldn't speed up. I was too focused on the race that it distracted me. I was aware of Park too much Wholesale Gerard Deulofeu Jersey , so I was not able to see Hagino," said Sun.


Just minutes after his shock victory in the 100m freestyle, Hagino, who has vowed to win six gold medals in Incheon Wholesale Gabriel Paletta Jersey , raced again to take bronze in the 100m backstroke, which was won by his compatriot Irie Ryosuke.


Daiya Seto made it three gold medals for Japan's men on the opening day of swimming action with a victory in the 200m butterfly in 1:54.08, 1.39 seconds ahead of countryman Kenta Hira. Joseph Schooling came third to snatch a rare medal for Singapore in the pool.


China matched Japan with a clean sweep of gold medals contested in women's events.


Zhang Yuhan clocked 4:07.67 to lead Bi Yirong finish 1-2 for China in the women's 40m freestyle final, while Shi Jinglin set a new Games record of 1:06.67 to win the 100m breaststroke. The Chinese foursome of Qiu Yuhan Wholesale Gabriel Jersey , Chen Xinyi, Sun Meichen and Zhou Yilin won the women's 4x100m freestyle relay in a time of 3:37.25.


China clinched four gold medals in shooting, cycling and Wushu to boost its haul to 12 by the end of the second day. South Korea also has 12 gold medals, but its 31 medals lags behind China's 32. Japan is third in the medals table with 26 medals Wholesale Franck Kessie Jersey , including seven gold.


Four more world records fell in weightlifting on Sunday, after DPR Korea's Om Yun-chol broke his own world mark in the men's 56kg class in the opening day.


Kim Un-guk of the DPR Korea broke three world records en route to taking gold in the men's 62kg. He snatched 154kg and lifted 178kg in the clean and jerk to smash his own mark of 327kg.


In the women's 53kg category, Chinese Taipei's Hsu Shu Ching set the new record with a combined total of 233kg, 2kg more than the previous mark Wholesale Fabio Borini Jersey , while Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo eclipsed the world record in the clean and jerk by 1kg with a 123kg lift.


Hsu's gold was Chinese Taipei's first at these Games. "I am so happy. I never dreamed of breaking the record, even in training practice I never lifted that much (clean and jerk)," said Hsu.


Hong Kong of China also picked up its first gold in Incheon, through Olympic medal-winning cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze in the women's keirin event.


Elsewhere Wholesale Davide Calabria Jersey , three judo athletes representing the United Arab Emirates here have been kicked out of the games for violating the Olympic Council of Asia's three-year residency rule for naturalized citizens.


A total of 27 gold medals are up for grabs on Monday.


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