No brake on China gold rush

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By (REUTERS) in Busan
  • Published 4.10.02

Busan: Rivals China and Japan took three swimming gold medals each as the Chinese lifted their total medal haul to just shy of 100 and reached the quarter finals in football at the Asian Games Thursday.

South Korea and Thailand joined China in the last eight of the football competition and all three enjoyed comfortable victories. South Korea beat Malaysia 4-0 in group A, Thailand overcame UAE 3-1 in group B and China saw off India 2-0 to take first place in group C.

China finished Day 4 with 58 golds, well on course for their projected 150 titles in the two-week Games. Japan were second with 20 golds, followed by the hosts on 15 and Kazakhstan with four. North Korea are fifth with three golds.

In Sajik Pool China shared the spoils with Japan as both won three finals, leaving the Chinese with a 13-9 lead over their fierce rivals in the swimming gold medal standings with just two days remaining.

World record holder Qi Hui was pushed all the way by Chinese teammate Luo Xuejuan in 200m breaststroke, but won a thriller for her second gold. China’s Chen Zuo also came from behind to win the men’s 100 freestyle in 50.76 seconds to deny countryman Liu Yu a second gold.

China’s Thursday’s haul of 22 gold medals from gymnastics to judo included a world record in women’s weightlifting. Liu Xia set the mark in women’s 63kg clean-and-jerk, lifting 135.5kg to surpass Ukrainian Nataliya Skakun’s record of 135kg.

In women’s all-round gymnastics, 16-year-old Zhang Nan from China took the gold, with 37.025 points, besting Uzbek veteran Oskana Chusovitina, who took the silver with 36.40.

Korean contests

A contest between South and North Korea saw the North’s women post a 3-1 upset in softball. South returned the compliment with a 101-85 victory in an emotionally charged quarter-final group basketball game.

South Korean basketballers have never lost to the North in six outings, but fans said the feel-good factor was more important. South Korean fans embraced the North Koreans after the match.

On the final day of judo, Japan’s Kayo Kitada won the gold in women’s 48kg, bringing to seven the number of titles for the Japanese team.

China’s Tong Wen beat Japan’s Maki Tsukada to win the Open Category gold, bringing China’s women’s judo gold tally to three.

The men’s Open gold went to Japan’s Kosei Inoue, who edged Abdullo Tangriev of Uzbekistan. Iran got their first gold in Pusan with Hajlakhondzadeh Masoud winning the men’s 60kg title.

The Chinese women’s winning touch carried over into freestyle wrestling, with Zhong Xiue quickly flooring Tajikistan’s Lidiya Karamchakova to take the 48kg freestyle gold.

Bowling finals also got under way, with veteran South Korean Kim Soo-kyung winning the women’s singles gold with 1,362 after six rounds. Miyuki Kubotani of Japan took silver in a field of 49, with Clutario Liza of the Philippines winning the bronze.

Hong Kong broke into the gold medal column by taking the snooker team title, followed by China and Pakistan.