News Karnataka
Saturday, December 02 2023

China’s Pan and Wang shine with 20 medals

Photo Credit : IANS

Hangzhou: Experienced swimmers Pan Zhanle and Wang Shun joined the exalted company as China claimed all seven gold medals – in a total haul of 11 medals – on the opening night of finals at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Aquatic Sports Arena.

China also dominated shooting and rowing competitions on the day winning all but one gold medal in the offing in rowing and both medals in women’s 10m Air Rifle shooting.

In all China was leading the medals table with 30 medals — 20 gold, seven silver and three bronze. South Korea were a distance second with 14 medals including five gold while Japan also won 14 medals on Sunday but was placed third as they had won only two gold medals as compared to 5 by Korea.

Pan lowered his Asian record in the men’s 100m freestyle when he stopped the clock in 46.97sec.

It elevated the 19-year-old into the top five men in history, rubbing shoulders with the likes of David Poppvoco of Romania and Caeleb Dressel of the United States, the reigning Olympic champion.

Pan was not so impressed by his performance, though, and said: “It was so-so. I had my eyes on the world record (of 46.86sec). To miss it by 0.11sec is quite a pity.

It followed Wang’s Asian mark in the men’s 200m individual medley as he became the third fastest man of all time, behind Ryan Lochte (USA) and Michael Phelps (USA).

It was the Olympic champion’s second straight Asian Games title and fourth medal in the event and came the day after he lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

It brought to three the number of Asian records set on the first day after Tang Qianting’s exploits in the 50m breaststroke heats before she went on to win gold.

In the same race, Suzuki Satomi (JPN) clinched her fourth straight Asian Games 50m breaststroke medal when she took silver.

Zhang Yufei (CHN) ended the first day with two golds when she anchored the Chinese women’s 4x100m freestyle relay to victory following her 200m butterfly title.

In shooting, Huang Yuting (CHN) and Han Jiayu (CHN), a young duo from Zhejiang province, of which Hangzhou is the capital, started day one of the shooting competition in perfect style, completing a one-two finish in front of their home crowd in the women’s10m air rifle at Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre on Sunday.

The two local shooters, world No.1 HAN and No.14 Huang started qualification strongly, with Han establishing an Asian qualification record and seeding first to the final.

Seventeen-year-old Huang diligently pursued the higher-ranked Han, her teammate and senior by four years, qualifying third in the final. In the final, she upstaged her senior teammate to win gold.

In rowing, local girl Zou Jiaqi (CHN) took the first medal of the Hangzhou Asian Games to start a Chinese gold rush at the Fuyang Water Sports Centre.

Zou and her doubles partner Qiu Xiuping (CHN) rowed a strong race in the lightweight women’s double sculls final to finish nearly 10 seconds ahead of Uzbekistan, to the delight of the watching crowds both in the grandstand and on the banks of the course.

Later in the morning, Zhang Liang (CHN) equalled the record of Li Jianxin (CHN) by winning his fourth Asian Games gold medal in rowing, winning the men’s double sculls with Liu Zhiyu (CHN).

China won a further four of the five finals on the penultimate day of the rowing regatta in Hangzhou. The only event the host nation did not win was the men’s pair, in which they did not have a boat entered.

The Republic of Korea dominated the first day of taekwondo action with gold medals in both women’s and men’s individual poomsae events at Lin’an Sports Culture & Exhibition Centre on Sunday.

Kang Wanjin (KOR), a team poomsae gold medallist at Jakarta-Palembang 2018, has fulfilled a childhood dream by winning gold in the men’s individual competition in Hangzhou.

Shortly afterwards Cha Yeaeun (KOR) added a second gold medal for the Republic of Korea when she defeated Niwa Yuiko (JPN).

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