China is in pole position to top the Olympics medal table for just the second time as the Tokyo Games heads into the final weekend of competition.
The only other time it topped the table was at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
After only returning to the Olympic fold in 1984, the country has had a remarkable run of success, finishing in the top four at every summer Games since Barcelona in 1992.
While sports is seen as an important demonstration of national pride on the world stage, China's state-driven sports system is also a way in which the government maintains internal order.
University of Missouri St-Louis professor of anthropology Susan Brownell is a world authority on China's sports system and the Olympics.
She spoke to Corin Dann.