GUANGZHOU, China, November 17. SOUTH Korea's Tae Hwan Park has been on a roll at the Asian Games this week. This evening, he checked in with his third individual gold medal. Meanwhile, China's Zhao Jing has proven her spot at the top of the mountain of Asian female backstrokers.
Park won his third gold medal of the meet with a swift time of 48.70 in the men's 100 free. That performance moved him up to 16th in the world rankings after setting the Asian record in the 200 free and posting a top-five all-time effort in the 400 free earlier in the meet. China's Lu Zhiwu placed second in 48.98, while Japan's Takuro Fujii rounded out the top three in 49.37.
Just days after posting the first textile swim under 59 seconds (58.94) during the leadoff of China's 400 medley relay, Zhao returned for individual glory with a winning time of 59.20. Japan's Shiho Sakai took second in 59.87 for eighth in the world rankings, while China's Gao Chang finished third in 59.90. Japan's Aya Terakawa, who stands second in the rankings with a 59.13 from September, wound up fourth in 59.92.
China's Tang Yi topped the women's 100 free in 54.12, clipping her 11th-ranked season best of 54.13 from Chinese Nationals in August. That gave her a second gold medal for the Asiad. Meanwhile, China's Li Zhisi took second in 54.84, while Japan's Haruka Ueda finished third in 55.15.
South Korea's Darae Jeong picked up the women's 200 breast title in 2:25.02. That effort moved her up to 15th in the world rankings. She surprised both Sun Ye (2:25.27) and Ji Liping (2:25.40) for gold, as both Sun (2:24.57) and Ji (2:24.30) have broken 2:25 this year. The biggest surprise came from fourth and fifth-place finishes from Japan's Rie Kaneto (2:25.63) and Satomi Suzuki (2:25.68). The pair are ranked fifth (2:23.79) and sixth (2:23.83), respectively, in the world this year.
Japan's Ken Takakuwa won the men's 200 IM going away with a 1:58.31. That effort fell just short of his eighth-ranked season best of 1:58.06 from Pan Pacs in August. China's Wang Shun finished second in 1:59.72, while Japan's Yuya Horihata pocketed third in 2:00.48.
China's Li Xuanxu closed down the day with an 8:23.55 to win the women's 800 free. That swim pushed her to fifth in the world rankings, up from her previous season best of 8:24.10. Compatriot Shao Yiwen finished second in 8:24.14 to move into the top 10 in the world, while Japan's Maiko Fujino took third in 8:33.55