The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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North star in China sky

Busan: A North Korean weightlifter scored the first world record of this yearís Asian Games on Tuesday, while host South Korea shattered Thailandís proud dominance of the obscure ancient sport of sepak takraw.

The second day of events at the two-week Games also saw Chinaís swimmers marking their National Day by winning all five finals.

While Qi Hui and Luo Xuejuang won expected gold medals in the womenís individual events, Liu Yu and schoolboy Wu Peng upset Japanís male swimmers as China dominated the evening session at Sajik Pool. The Chinese capped a successful day in the pool by winning the womenís 4x200 metres relay.

Powerhouse China won the menís team gymnastics gold, with the silver going to South Korea and Japan taking the bronze.

North Koreaís Olympic silver medallist Ri Song-hui broke a world record in the womenís 53 kg weightlifting snatch, lifting 102.5 kg to win the gold medal.

For the first world record to fall in the Busan Games, the 23-year-old Ri beat the previous mark of 100 kg set by Chinaís Yang Xia at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

In the menís 56 kg division, Chinaís Wu Meijin took the gold with a total weight of 292.5 kg. Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) took the silver and bronze.

In a stunning upset in a sport little known outside Asia, South Korea shocked Thailand to win the menís circle sepak takraw gold medal.

Heavily favoured Thailand, who took five of six sepak takraw golds at the 1998 Bangkok Games, lodged a protest, saying the referees missed several Thai points in the rapid-fire event. Thailand, however, won the gold in womenís circle sepak takraw.

Veteran Ali Daei helped defending champions Iran move closer to the soccer quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Lebanon, while North Korea thrashed Pakistan 5-0 and Kuwait beat Hong Kong 1-0.

Afghanistan slumped to a 0-11 defeat against Qatar as their baptism of fire continued on their return to the international game after the collapse of the Taliban regime.

Japan enjoyed a 5-2 victory over Bahrain and needed just a point from their final group match against Uzbekistan, who beat the Palestinians 2-0, to reach the quarter-finals.

Iran, who thrashed Afghanistan 10-0 in their opening group E match, are also a point away from the last eight after battling to beat the Lebanese, who drew their first match 1-1 with Qatar. Qatar must now beat Iran to make sure of progressing.

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