Tue, Dec 05, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Asian Games: Another golden day for Chinese athletes in Doha

RED RAMPAGE Although China was not as dominant in the pool on Sunday as it was on Saturday, its athletes more than made up for the shortfall in other disciplines

DPA AND AP , DOHA

China's Chen Yanqing competes during the women's 58kg weightlifting at the 15th Asian Games in Doha on Sunday. Chen produced a triple record-breaking performance as the 27-year-old Olympic champion set new world records in the snatch, clean and jerk, and overall disciplines.

PHOTO: AFP

It was another golden day for Chinese athletes on Sunday as they added a further 13 gold medals to the 16 they had won on the opening day of competition at the Asian Games in Doha.

They comfortably won both the men's and women's table tennis, beating South Korea and Singapore respectively in the finals, with Hong Kong and Taiwan picking up the bronze in the men's, while the two Koreas each got bronze in the women's event.

Sunday also saw the first world record of the competition, with Chen Yanqing, who had earlier retired from retirement, setting three world records and winning the women's 58kg class, continuing China's dominance of the weightlifting competition.

Chen hoisted 111kg to improve Wang Li's 2003 mark in the snatch by 1kg.

She lifted 140kg in the clean and jerk and 251kg overall to beat compatriot Qu Wei's marks of 139kg and 241kg set at the world championships in Doha last year.

The 27-year-old Olympic champion said that she had decided last year to quit the sport because she did not want to spend the best years of her life training.

"But I returned because my love for weightlifting is endless and I want to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics," she said.

She comfortably won the gold medal ahead of Thailand's Wandee Kameaim and North Korean Pak Hyon-suk.

It was one of three gold medals China got on Sunday in weightlifting, with the others coming from Qiu Le in the 62kg division, while Zhang Guozheng won the 69kg division.

China had less success on Sunday at the Hamad Aquatic Center, where they won two of six gold medals.

The standout performance belonged to South Korean teenager Park Tae-hwan as he broke his own Asian record over 200m freestyle to give his country their 15th Asian Games swimming gold.

Park, who set the Asian record at 1:47.51 minutes in Australia earlier this year, won in a time of 1:47.12, beating China's Zhang Lin into second place. Zhang finished in a time of 1:47.85.

"During the race I did not think about setting a record, but now that I have done it, I am very happy. My family was in the stadium and I dedicate the victory to them and my coach," Park said.

China's Pang Jiaying became the first athlete at the Games to win three gold medals when she added a gold for the 4x100m freestyle relay to the two golds she won in the 200m freestyle and the 4x100m medley relay on Saturday.

Pang was the final swimmer for a China team that won in a time of 3:42.11 minutes. The silver medal went to Japan after South Korea who had finished second were disqualified. Hong Kong took the bronze medal.

Other swimming gold medal winners on the day were Takashi Yamamoto (men's 100m butterfly), Vladislav Polyakov (men's 50m breaststroke), Reiko Nakamura (women's 200m backstroke) and Qi Hui (400m women's individual medley).

On the firing range, China once again dominated by winning four of the seven gold medals.

There was success for Kuwait though as Naser Meqlad became a double-gold medalist when he helped the Middle Eastern country to victory in the men's trap event and also secured the gold medal for himself in the individual event, with compatriot Khaled Almudhaf winning bronze.

Meqlad said that the wind made conditions difficult.

"It does affect me, but everybody competes under the same conditions. I feel the pressure when Manvjit Singh's marks are close to mine. He is a good shooter," he said.

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