24th September 2023 – (Hangzhou) China showcased its sporting prowess on the opening day of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, by securing an impressive total of 31 gold medals. The nation’s athletes demonstrated their dominance across various disciplines, with China claiming 20 golds, followed by South Korea with five, and Japan and China’s Hong Kong each earning two top honours.
The Chinese rowing team got off to a flying start, with Zou Jiaqi and Qiu Xiuping winning the first gold medal of the Games in the rowing lightweight women’s double sculls event, finishing with a time of 7:06.78. This victory set the tone for Chinese rowers, who went on to secure another five gold medals in different categories. Fan Junjie and Sun Man excelled in the lightweight men’s double sculls, Lu Shiyi and Shen Shuangmei triumphed in the women’s double sculls, Liu Zhiyu and Zhang Liang dominated the men’s double sculls, Zhang Shuxian, Liu Xiaoxin, Wang Zifeng, and Xu Xingye claimed gold in the women’s four event, and Li Wenlei, Chen Xianfeng, Xu Qiao, Lyu Yi, Ji Gaoxing, Cai Pengpeng, Ni Xulin, Nie Yide, and Liang Weixiong emerged victorious in the men’s eight event.
Notably, 36-year-old Zhang Liang secured his fourth consecutive gold medal at the Asian Games. Having previously triumphed in Guangzhou in 2010, Incheon in 2014, and Jakarta in 2018, Zhang continued his winning streak in Hangzhou, cementing his status as a rowing legend.
China’s Hong Kong also celebrated its first gold medal in the rowing men’s pair event, courtesy of Lam San-tung and Wong Wai-chun.
The young generation of Chinese shooters showcased their talent and determination. Seventeen-year-old Huang Yuting broke an Asian Games record with 252.7 points in the 10-meter air rifle women event, securing a gold medal. She further contributed to China’s success by joining forces with Han Jiayu and Wang Zhilin to win the 10-meter air rifle team women final, accumulating a total of 1,896.6 points.
Chinese athletes proved their prowess in wushu as well, clinching both gold medals in the discipline. Sun Peiyuan secured the men’s changquan title for the third consecutive time at the Asian Games, while Tong Xin emerged victorious in the women’s taijijian event.
In the swimming events, Chinese swimmers shone brightly, securing gold medals in all seven contests. Zhang Yufei, Wang Shun, Li Bingjie, Pan Zhanle, and Xu Jiayu set new records with their exceptional performances. Zhang Yufei broke the Asian Games record in the women’s 200-meter butterfly, Wang Shun set an Asian record in the men’s 200-meter individual medley, Li Bingjie established a new Asian Games record in the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle, Pan Zhanle broke the Asian record in the men’s 100-meter freestyle, and Xu Jiayu achieved a new men’s 100-meter backstroke Asian Games record.
The swimming final of the day concluded with a triumphant moment for China, as Yang Junxuan, Cheng Yujie, Wu Qingfeng, and Zhang Yufei set a new Asian Games record in the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay event, clocking in at 3:33.96.