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India fires first world record of Asian Games as Japanese teen dazzles

India broke a world record in men’s 10m air rifle at Hangzhou Asian Games, winning their first gold. China continued to dominate, and a 15-year-old Japanese skateboarder impressed. Qin Haiyang aimed for breaststroke gold for China. Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey vied for success in 200m freestyle.

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HANGZHOU, CHINA — India claimed the first world record of the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday as hosts China snapped up more gold medals and 15-year-old skateboarder Hinano Kusaki triumphed for Japan.

The Indian trio of Divyansh Panwar, Rudrankksh Patil and Aishwary Tomar blew away the field with a new world best 1,893.7 points to win the men’s 10m air rifle team event on day two of the multi-sports extravaganza.

They beat the previous mark of 1,893.3 set by China last month in Baku.

In doing so they won India’s first gold of a Games where the hosts have swept 28 of the 44 titles decided so far.

“In the 10m event they are both perfect athletes,” Tomar said of his teammates. “Playing with them is huge, it’s really good.”

Another shooting world record fell to China’s Sheng Lihao in the men’s 10m air rifle with his 253.3 points surpassing teammate Yu Haonan’s 252.8 from Rio four years ago.

“I had good luck in the final. I did quite well today, I was basically smooth,” said Sheng.

Like India, Macau clinched its first gold in Hangzhou, with wushu athlete Li Yi winning the changquan title to become the first woman in history from the Chinese territory to earn an Asian Games gold.

“I’m really proud. This one completes the process so I feel really fortunate,” said the 31-year-old.

“This maybe brings my 20 years as an athlete to a perfect end.”

In other early action on day two, Kusaki dazzled in skateboarding to easily win the women’s park final at Qiantang Roller Sports Centre.

“I am very happy with how everything went,” said the teenager.

Qin targets breaststroke gold

After winning all seven gold medals in the swimming pool on the opening day, China are primed to dominate again on Monday night, spearheaded by breaststroke world champion Qin Haiyang.

The Chinese star caused a major upset at the world championships in Fukuoka in July when he won the 100m gold in 57.69 ahead of a stacked field and in the absence of British great Adam Peaty.

He went on to complete an unprecedented clean sweep of the breaststroke titles, an achievement he is aiming to match at his home Asiad as he builds towards next year’s Paris Olympics.

Qin, the second-fastest ever over 100m after Peaty, was in a class of his own in the heats, touching in 58.35 to better the previous Games best set by Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki in 2018.

South Korea’s Choi Dong-yeol came in second — a gaping 1.55 seconds behind Qin.

Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey could prevent another Chinese clean sweep when she lines up in the women’s 200m freestyle final.

Haughey did not compete at the 2018 Asiad due to a nagging foot injury but has since become one of the top freestyle swimmers in the world.

After earning silver behind Australian star Ariarne Titmus at the Tokyo Olympics, she narrowly missed the medals at the July world championships. But she reinforced her credentials with a silver in Fukuoka over 100m.

Haughey qualified fifth-fastest in 2:00.75 in the 200m freestyle, conserving energy while capable of swimming a lot faster. China’s Li Bingjie was quickest through the heats.

— AFP

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