China adds two more golds to medal count at Games

Syn­chro­nized spring­board­ers soar, weightlifter sets new world’s record

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LEI LEI and ZHANG ZHIHAO in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at leilei@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s ath­letes con­tinue to go for the gold.

Long Qingquan lifted 170kg in the jerk for a world record to­tal of 307kg to take the men’s 56kg weightlift­ing gold medal at the Rio Olympics on Sun­day.

China se­cured the first div­ing gold medal of the Rio Olympics when Wu Minxia and Shi Ting­mao won the women’s syn­chro­nised 3m spring­board on Sun­day.

The pair lived up to its billing as fa­vorite with an over­all score of 345.60 points from five dives, some 31.77 points ahead of sil­ver medal­lists Ta­nia Cag­notto and Francesca Dal­lape of Italy.

Aus­tralia’s Mad­di­son Keeney and An­abelle Smith took bronze with 299.19 points.

The re­sult at the Maria Lenk Aquat­ics Cen­ter con­tin­ued China’s re­mark­able se­quence of re­sults in the event. The Asian na­tion has won ev­ery world and Olympic ti­tle in the women’s syn­chro­nized spring­board since the 2000 Syd­ney Games.

The per­for­mance also se­cured a raft of records for vet­eran Wu. The 30-yearold has now won the most Olympic div­ing medals by a woman, sur­pass­ing com­pa­triot Guo Jingjing with seven podium fin­ishes.

She also be­came the old­est woman to win an Olympic div­ing medal, over­tak­ing the USA’s Micki King, who was 28 when she won the spring­board ti­tle in 1972. In ad­di­tion, Wu equalled the record held by Canada’s Em­i­lie Hey­mans for div­ing medals in the most Olympic Games (four).

China won its first gold medal at the Rio Sum­mer Olympics on Sun­day when Zhang Mengxue was suc­cess­ful in the women’s 10m air pis­tol event.

Zhang, 25, from Ji­nan, Shan­dong prov­ince, reached the fi­nal by fin­ish­ing in sev­enth place in qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Her per­for­mance helped lift the gloom af­ter Chi­nese com­peti­tors failed to win any gold medals on Sat­ur­day, the first full day of com­pe­ti­tion.

Chi­nese tend to view first­day gold medals as an aus­pi­cious sign.

But to the sur­prise of many in Rio on Sat­ur­day, Chi­nese com­peti­tors missed out on all four op­por­tu­ni­ties to strike gold — the women’s 10m air ri­fle, men’s 10m air pis­tol, women’s epee, and most im­por­tant, the men’s 400m freestyle swim­ming in which na­tional star Sun Yang was de­fend­ing the ti­tle he won at the Lon­don Olympics.

Sun was edged out of first place by Mack Hor­ton of Aus­tralia.

China had to set­tle for two sil­vers and three bronzes in­stead. It was the first time since the 2000 Syd­ney Olympics that the na­tion had failed to win a gold medal on the first full day of com­pe­ti­tion.

Vet­eran Chi­nese shoot­ers Du Li and Yi Sil­ing fin­ished sec­ond and third in the women’s 10m air ri­fle event, with Vir­ginia Thrasher of the US tak­ing the gold.

Du’s hus­band, Pang Wei, claimed a bronze in the men’s 10m air pis­tol, while Sun Yi­wen beat Lau­ren Rembi of France but had to set­tle for an­other bronze for China in the women’s epee.

Sports man­agers were happy to see the pub­lic ad­just­ing its ex­pec­ta­tions.

WEI XIAOHAO / CHINA DAILY

Long Qingquan lifts 170kg in the jerk for a world record to­tal of 307kg to take the men’s 56kg weightlift­ing gold medal at the Rio Olympics on Sun­day.

DO­MINIC EBENBICHLER / REUTERS

Shi Ting­mao (left) and Wu Minxia of China win the Women’s Syn­chro­nised 3m Spring­board at Maria Lenk Aquat­ics Cen­tre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sun­day.

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