Games-China shoots ahead at Guangzhou Asian Games
Having welcomed athletes with pyrotechnical wizardry at the opening ceremony, China kept the fireworks exploding on Saturday at the Asian Games, clinching early golds in Wushu and shooting on day one of the competition. Bruce Lee fan and two-time world championother Updated: Nov 13, 2010 12:51 IST
Having welcomed athletes with pyrotechnical wizardry at the opening ceremony, China kept the fireworks exploding on Saturday at the Asian Games, clinching early golds in Wushu and shooting on day one of the competition. Bruce Lee fan and two-time world champion Yuan Xiaochao mounted the 15-day event's first podium after defending his Wushu gold in the Changquan or "long fist" routine, the 22-year-old kicking and punching his way to edge out silver medallist Daisuke Ichikizaki of Japan.
"There is a saying that lessons you learn stay with you forever," Yuan, reportedly born to a famous martial art family in eastern China, told reporters. "I can be better and improve my technique." China has set itself a task of hauling in Doha's 165 gold medals at the last Asian Games, and the trio of world champion Yi Siling, Wu Liuxi and Yu Dan did their part for the cause by snaring the women's 10-metre air rifle team title.
Their combined score of 1,194 points, led by the peerless Yi's 399, was enough to pip Iran's shooters by two points and bring up China's 150th medal in the event. Yi, nicknamed "Shooting Beauty", then kept the good times rolling by wrapping up the individual 10-metre title under a hot sun at the Aoti Shooting Range and in front of raucous fans from her home town. "I felt too much pressure, actually, firstly coming from Guangzhou and secondly, this is the first gold medal for shooting," she told reporters, still beaming after mounting the podium.
Wu, world number two and ever the bridesmaid to Yi, clinched silver to give China the double, a repeat of their world championship result in Munich earlier this year. "Yes, it's a little bit of pity for me, but one can only succeed when one experiences regret," she said philosophically. LEE SURPRISE While China is expected to trounce the other 44 teams at the Nov. 12-27 competition in the medal count, the hosts did not have it all their way, with Asian champion and overwhelming favourite Guo Shuang beaten by a brilliant ride from Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze in the women's track cycling 500 metres time trial.
Lee's time of 33.945 seconds from two laps of the Guangzhou Velodrome set a new Asian record and after Guo's time fell short, the 23-year-old launched herself into a group hug with trainers and team mates. "I am so happy because my dream has come true. I've been longing for this medal," said Lee, whose coach Shen Jinkang had not even given her a chance of beating Guo. Japan was also among the medals early, underlining their regional dominance in the women's triathlon with a podium double for Mariko Adachi and Akane Tsuchihashi.
Tsuchihashi kept within reach of her more fancied team mate after the swimming and cycling legs, but fell away during the 10-km run to finish nearly 47 seconds behind on a sweltering autumn day. Twenty-eight gold medals will be awarded on Saturday with China's battle with Japan for supremacy in the pool to highlight the evening session.