With their men’s 10m air rifle team hitting the mark on day two of the Hangzhou Asian Games, India claimed their first gold of the competition on Monday. Meanwhile, South Korean esports star “Faker” surprised fans with a debut victory, while Bangladesh won their first medal since 2014.
The Games in the eastern Chinese city, postponed by a year due to COVID-19, feature about 12,400 participants from 45 different countries fighting for 481 gold medals throughout a massive schedule of 40 sports.
In addition to winning gold, India also broke the previous world record set by the men of China last month.
The women’s cricket team from Bangladesh defeated Pakistan in the bronze medal game to win the nation its first medal at the Asian Games since Incheon, South Korea, in 2014.
They put in a great defensive effort to limit Pakistan to 64 for nine at the end of the allotted 20 overs, a total they then chased down to win in 18.2 overs.
Cricket, which aspires to be an Olympic event, was reinstated at the Asian Games after being left out of the 2018 edition held in Indonesia.
Next year, the ICC Twenty20 Women’s World Cup will be held in Bangladesh.
Esports, popular in China, is being offered as a medal event at the Asian Games for the first time, and Lee Sang-hook, better known as the gamer alias “Faker,” is helping to raise awareness of the event.
The South Korean did not let his throngs of supporters down on Monday, helping his team, Korea, defeat Kazakhstan 1-0 in one of the League of Legends preliminary games.
China also won gold in shooting, women’s mountain biking, skateboarding, and rowing on day two of the competition. However, Uzbekistan stole some of their thunder by defeating the hosts in the women’s single skulls and men’s four events.
Chen Ye, a 15-year-old skateboarder, defeated his Japanese competitors to win the men’s park final. In the women’s division, 15-year-old Japanese skater Hinano Kusaki defeated two Chinese competitors for the gold.
The event will be China’s first major athletic event after the country discontinued its “zero-COVID” policy in late 2022, and every effort has been made to ensure a seamless one.
Indian anger over a visa issue that prevented three of its athletes from competing in wushu, the Chinese martial art, has damaged the organizers’ claim of a peaceful gathering of nations.