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India fires first world record of Asian Games as skateboarder, nine, has 'fun'

The Indian trio of (from left) Divyansh Panwar, Aishwary Tomar and Rudrankksh Patil won the men’s 10m air rifle team event. PHOTO: REUTERS

HANGZHOU – India claimed the first world record of the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday as hosts China snapped up more gold medals and a nine-year-old skateboarder melted hearts.

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 in August and in doing so, won India’s first gold of a Games where the hosts have swept 39 of the 69 titles decided so far. South Korea and Japan are their closest competitors with a distant 10 and five golds respectively.

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

India claimed their second gold in the afternoon when they defeated Sri Lanka in the final of the women’s cricket by 19 runs.

Jemimah Rodrigues, who racked up 42 runs, said: “I think this is one of the biggest achievements for us as a team. Just to get the gold for the nation and to add to the medals of the nation, I think there’s no bigger prize than that.”

Another shooting world record fell to Chinese teenager 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 the 18-year-old, a Tokyo Olympic silver medallist.

In other action, Mazel Paris Alegado – aged just nine – said it was “so fun” competing in skateboarding.

Thought to be the youngest athlete in Hangzhou and representing the Philippines, she qualified for the “women’s” park final and came seventh out of eight.

The competition was won by comparative veteran Hinano Kusaki from Japan, aged 15. China’s Chen Ye, also just 15, won the men’s park in skateboarding.

At the Fuyang Water Sports Centre, Zhang Liang became the most successful Asian Games rower of all time.

China’s Zhang won the men’s single sculls to add to his men’s double sculls gold from Sunday and now has five Asian Games titles from four editions.

“I cannot say I am a leader. I do what I should do as a rower, to pursue my goals and dreams, to do well,” he said.

Chinese swimmers romped to all seven titles on the opening day of swimming on Sunday in an ominous display ahead of next summer’s Paris Olympics, but they did not have it all their own way a day later.

South Korea’s Ji Yu-chan set a new Asian Games record in the men’s 50m freestyle of 21.72secs in a shock win ahead of Hong Kong’s Ian Ho (21.87) and teenage Chinese star Pan Zhanle (21.92).

Olympic silver medallist Siobhan Haughey clinched Hong Kong’s first Asian Games swimming gold ever with an emphatic victory in the 200m freestyle in a sizzling 1min 54.12sec, another Games record.

“It’s very special,” she said. “I guess I was hoping for a little faster time, but it’s not too far off my best time, so I’m still happy with it.”

South Korea took gold ahead of the hosts in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay in another surprise.

The other four races all went the way of China’s swimmers, with the hulking 24-year-old Qin adding Games 100m breaststroke gold to his recent world title.

Qin, also the 50m and 200m world champion, romped home in a new Games-record time of 57.76secs, a gaping 1.33sec ahead of teammate Yan Zibei.

But don’t call him the “Breaststroke Prince”. “Maybe just call me a breaststroke swimmer,” he said. AFP, REUTERS