Zhang Yufei, the face of the Asian Games, edged Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey in a dramatic race for the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle on Thursday. At the same time, Ye Shiwen, a previous Olympic champion, turned back time to win the breaststroke competition. Zhang, a local favorite and butterfly expert, produced a timing of 24.26 seconds to win her sixth gold medal in the Hangzhou pool and excite the crowd.
With the 50-meter butterfly and 4×100-meter medley relay on Friday’s final day of swimming, the Olympic champion in the 200-meter butterfly is on course to win seven gold medals in Hangzhou. The attention of these Games has been on Zhang, but Ye, a previous golden child of Chinese swimming, created a stir when she outperformed the competition to win the 200m breaststroke gold.
When Ye won the 200m medley championship and the 400m medley gold in the London Olympics at age 16, she broke the world record in each event. Ye, a 27-year-old native of Hangzhou, competed again in swimming at the home Olympics and has her sights set on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Paris. “I feel very confident because I was able to win this gold medal after only six months of training, and I know that more training will only make me more ready,” she added.
At 2:07.03, world champion Qin Haiyang easily won the men’s 200m breaststroke final, adding the distance to his Monday triumph in the 100m. Qin, who won the 50, 100, and 200 breaststroke world titles in Fukuoka, will attempt to win the shortest distance on Friday in Hangzhou to complete a hat-trick.
SUCCESS IN SPORTS ESPORTS
Esports’ debut as a medal event at the Hangzhou Asian Games has succeeded five years after it was a demonstration sport in the Jakarta Asian Games. Kim Gwan-woo of South Korea defeated Taiwan’s Hsiang Yu-Lin and won the “Street Fighter V” gold medal while playing as the disguised character “Vega” in the well-known game with 1980s roots.
The 44-year-old Kim described the man as “handsome, he looks like me, he wears a mask, the weapons he uses are very personal, and his fast movements are very attractive.” Some of the nation’s gamers are in line for a leave pass since South Korea has traditionally exempted Asian Games champions from the country’s required military duty. The “League of Legends” multi-player combat arena game’s semifinal match saw South Korea defeat China. This group, which features renowned gamer Lee Sang-hook (better known online as “Faker”), will compete against Taiwan for the League’s gold medal on Friday.
When South Korea’s legendary fencers won the men’s team saber championship for the third Asian Games in a row, they also celebrated gold in one of the Olympic Games’ oldest sports. Oh Sang-guk, Kim Jun-ho, and Gu Bon-gil calmly defeated their Chinese opponents 45-33 in the nine-bout final to quiet the boisterous home audience. Gu, also the team saber gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, enjoyed Thursday’s victory after losing to teammate Oh in the solo competition. The 34-year-old Gu stated, “(Oh) told me we would win gold in the team match.
“I dedicate my gold medal to my newborn son and my silver to my wife,” the athlete said. Ryota Tsumura of Japan lost out to Taiwan’s Lee Chih-kai for the gold medal in Hangzhou after Ryota won the pommel horse event in the Tokyo Olympics with a score of 15.50. After defeating the talented 18-year-old Alex Eala of the Philippines in a three-set semifinal match, Chinese tennis star Zheng Qinwen, who recently made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, assured herself at least a silver medal. In the final, Zheng will face fellow countryman Zhu Lin.