Eileen Gu – Freestyle skier Chinese freeskier Eileen Gu Ailing is touted as a Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics “triple threat” gold medal hope for a reason. Known as “Ice Princess” in Chinese media, the 18-year-old has been sweeping countless gold medals and smashing national milestones ever since opting to represent China over her birthplace of the US in 2019. Gu bagged two 2020 Youth Olympic golds and one silver last year, before becoming the first Chinese freeskier to win multiple gold medals at the 2021 FIS Snowboard and Freeski world championships. Hong Kong trailblazer Li Tsz-kwan selected for WCBA All-Stars She won two more golds and a bronze at the renowned X-Games, where she was the first Chinese entrant to win gold in the event’s history, and only rookie to win three medals at the same event. Skip to December, and Gu returned from injury to win her first Big Air World Cup gold, landing the first-ever double cork 1440 in women’s competition, then winning at the Half-pipe World Cup a week later. Should she continue the form, she may well be China’s first women’s Olympic gold medallist freeskier. Song Yadong – UFC UFC bantamweight prospect Song Yadong always seemed destined for big things. Trained by famous Shaolin masters, the Tianjin-born fighter started competing in MMA when he was just 15-years-old, forging an ID to convince local promotions that he was 18, and legally allowed to fight. On China’s regional MMA circuit he developed a reputation as a fierce and fearless competitor and was quickly signed by global fight promotion UFC. Now based in California under the tutelage of former UFC bantamweight great Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male, the next 12 months should be a one-way path to stardom for Song, who has collected seven wins with just one loss under the UFC banner. Zhou Qi – Basketball After a brief stint with Houston Rockets, Chinese basketball rookie Zhou Qi is now cutting a swathe through Australia’s National Basketball League with South East Melbourne Phoenix. Right from the start, Zhou made his presence known with Phoenix, regularly topping the scorecards and averaging 4.3 blocks a game. In his third outing for the team, Zhou was named player of the game and hailed as a “jewel in the crown” of Australian basketball. Off court, his presence is also being felt, with teammates hailing him not just a great team player, but also great friend. With rumours already starting to swirl about a recall to America’s NBL, the next 12 months will be interesting for this young, surging basketball talent. Zhou Guanyu – Formula 1 China’s first Formula One driver, Zhou Guanyu has joined Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season having finished his F2 career in style. The 22-year-old has been marked for a career at the top since he joined Ferrari’s driver academy in 2014, while he has consistently been under the spotlight given F1’s push to get a Chinese driver on the grid since the Chinese Grand Prix joined the calendar in 2004. While Alfa Romeo admitted Zhou’s arrival was partly linked to the sponsors he brings with him, the Chinese driver is also recognised as having plenty of potential, making his first season in F1 a truly exciting prospect. Siobhan Haughey – Swimmer It might seem strange to end this list with a world-record holder and double Olympic silver medallist, but all indications are that there is plenty more to come from Siobhan Haughey. With the Fina World Championships expected to happen in Japan in May, Haughey can add long-course gold to the healthy collection of medals she has accumulated over the past 12 months. Then in September, the 2022 Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, where Haughey will again be among the favourites. Already one of Hong Kong’s greatest athletes ever, Haughey could cement her place at the top of that last with another stella year in the pool.