China's medal momentum rolls on, 3 world records shattered at Asiad
Xinhua 2023-09-26 10:13

Yu Haonan, Du Linshu and Sheng Lihao (from L to R) of China attend the award ceremony for the men's team 10m air rifle event at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Sept. 25, 2023. (Xinhua/Jia Haocheng)

China bagged 19 golds on the second full competition day at the Hangzhou Asiad, while three world records in shooting were refreshed.

HANGZHOU, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Hosts China continued to dominate at the 19th Asian Games on Monday, securing an impressive haul of 19 gold medals, while the shooting range had three world records shattered.

The Chinese rowers once again made a significant impact along the Fuchun River, earning five more gold medals on the concluding day of rowing action.

Veteran Zhang Liang timed in six minutes and 57.06 seconds to retain his single sculls title. Together with his double sculls gold from Sunday, it lifted his Asian Games titles to five across four editions, surpassing compatriot Li Jianxin as the best rower with the most Asiad golds.

Reflecting on his accomplishment, the 36-year-old Zhang said that it was "not easy for me to win the competition at this age while facing significant pressure, but I am still pursuing my dream. That's why I am here, continuing my career with an eye on the 2024 Paris Olympics."

On Sunday, Chinese rowers also won the men's and women's quadruple sculls, women's pair, and eight.

In total, China has taken 11 out of the 14 gold medals available in the sport, including the first gold of these Games in the women's lightweight double sculls.

After a dominating performance in the pool on Sunday with seven gold medals, Chinese swimmers slightly slowed their momentum on Monday, clinching four out of the seven golds. Triple breaststroke world champion Qin Haiyang won the 100m breaststroke, setting a Games record of 57.76 seconds.

His compatriot Yan Zibei was second in 59.09 seconds, while South Korea's Choi Dong-yeol placed third in 59.28.

Qin, flagbearer for the Chinese team at the opening ceremony, rose to stardom at the World Championships in Fukuoka in July, becoming the first man in history to win all three breaststroke titles while also setting a world record in the 200m.

When asked about his plans to break the 50m breaststroke world record, Qin said that he wouldn't specifically prepare for it, as "it's not an Olympic event."

"I think I'll need some luck to break the world record," the 24-year-old added.

In the women's 200m individual medley final, a competitive duel unfolded between rising star Yu Yiting and London Olympic champion Ye Shiwen. Yu set a Games record of 2:07.75 to claim the title, with Ye finishing second in 2:10.34. South Korea's Kim Seo-yeong was third with a time of 2:10.36.

China's world champion Xu Jiayu secured the top spot in the men's 50m backstroke with a time of 24.38 seconds, while Wang Xue'er narrowly outpaced teammate Wan Letian to win the women's 50m backstroke in 27.35 seconds.

In a historic moment for Hong Kong, China, Siobhan Bernadette Haughey earned its first-ever gold medal in swimming at an Asian Games. Haughey, the Olympic silver medalist in women's 100m freestyle, cruised to victory in the 200m, beating defending champion Li Bingjie of China in a Games record of 1:54.12.

The shooting range also provided cause for celebration as China's shooters claimed three gold medals, breaking two of the three world records on the day.

In the men's 10m air rifle, 18-year-old Sheng Lihao showcased remarkable stability and speed, earning the gold with a world record of 253.3 points, firing 60 shots in just half of the allotted time. Additionally, India claimed the men's 10m air rifle team title with a world record of 1,893.7 points.

Chinese shooters continued their dominance by securing the men's 25m rapid-fire pistol team title with a world record of 1,765 points, while Li Yuehong claimed the individual gold in the same event.

In other events, China's women gymnasts extended their remarkable streak by winning their 13th consecutive team title at the Asian Games, scoring 161.896 points. Japan was second with 157.229 points, while DPR Korea placed third with 156.829 points.

China also claimed gold medals in cycling, taekwondo, skateboarding, fencing and wushu to lead the medal table with 39 gold, 21 silver, and nine bronze medals. South Korea was second with 10 golds and Japan third with five.