On the afternoon of 26 July 1984, Xu Haifeng made Olympic history by becoming the first ever Chinese Olympic Champion. In the fifth and last round of the free pistol event, he moved past Sweden's Ragnar Skanåker to become the People's Republic's first Olympic medallist ever (Taiwan had already medalled before). While Xu never won a World Championship medal, he was very successful at the Asian Games, winning 4 titles at both the 1986 and 1990 editions of the event. In 1990, when the Asian Games were held in Beijing, he was one of the athletes lighting the flame. He would again be honoured at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, being one of the runners with the torch in the stadium during the opening ceremony. Since 1995, Xu has been one of the coaches of the Chinese shooting team.