10 August :Powerhouse China piled up more success on Sunday in its Olympic medal race with the United States, clinching golds in shooting, diving, judo and weightlifting, Guo Wenjun added another gold when she finished on 492.3 points to claim the women’s 10m Air Pistol title.
Diving queens Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia successfully defended their synchronised three-metre springboard crown while judo mum Xian Dongmei retained her -52kg crown on the mats.
Strongman Long Qingquan capped their day by lifting a combined total of 292kg in the men’s 56kg category weightlifting, a new junior world best.In the pool, Zhang Lin grabbed an unexpected silver in the men’s 400m freestyle while the Chinese women took second behind South Korea in the archery team event.
It leaves China with six gold and two silver compared to the American haul of two gold, two silver and four bronze as China looks to topple the mighty US in the medal standings for the first time.Guo’s score bettered the previous Olympic record of 490.1 set by Russia’s Olga Klochneva in 1996.
"I am satisfied," she said. "Actually, I didn’t adopt any specific measures. I think just the training was important."Alongside Wu, Chinese superstar Guo collected the first of the two medals she is bidding for here as the pair retained the Olympic title they won in Athens.
Having also won the solo three metres springboard title four years ago, Guo is the hot favourite in the individual event of her third and final Olympics, having said she will retire after the Games.
Xian edged out North Korean An Kum-Ae in a tense judo final to the delight of a packed home crowd, repeating her success of four years ago in Athens."This is my last Olympics," said Xian. "I will make it up to my family (being absent for training), especially my daughter."
American superstar Michael Phelps grabbed the headlines by smashing his own 400m individual medley world record to claim the first of a possible historic eight golds, although Zhang’s accomplishment was also notable.
The country’s top freestyler stunned the capacity crowd by placing second behind South Korea’s Park Tae-Hwan in the 400m."I lost to Park by less than one second, but I’ve tried my best," said Zhang. "I don’t think I’ve reached the same level as the other swimmers yet."
It was the best performance by a Chinese male swimmer since Jiang Chengji placed fourth in Atlanta 12 years ago.China came into the swimming competition with few expectations and under a drug cloud after Ouyang Kunpeng was banned for life after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in a 1st May out-of-competition test.
His dumping left few serious medal candidates, although Wu Peng is seen as a chance in the men’s 200m butterfly and 14-year-old schoolgirl Li Xuanxu is a future prospect.
She made the final of the women’s 400m medley but came last today, nearly 13 seconds adrift of Australian Stephanie Rice who set a new world mark of 4:29.45.
The Chinese women — Zhu Yingwen, Tang Yi, Xu Yanwei and Pang Jiaying — narrowly missed a medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay, finishing fourth behind the Netherlands, USA, and Australia.
Zhou Yafei, meanwhile, has a crack at a podium place after qualifying for the final of the 100m butterfly, where Australia’s Libby Trickett is favourite.China’s women’s gymnastics team, meanwhile, stamped their authority on the qualifiers although there were some rare errors, with He Kexin falling on her final apparatus, the uneven bars.
Nevertheless, China qualified first ahead of the United States and Russia. Courtsey DDINEWS