China Women, Japan Men Dominate Third Day of Asian Games

By Jason Marsteller

DOHA, Qatar, December 4. THE Chinese women and Japanese men dominated for the most part during the third day of competition at the 15th Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar on Dec. 4. Overall, China and Japan claimed the bulk of medals awards while only missing out on gold in one event in the women's and men's meet, respectively.

Women's 50 Backstroke
After a day in which it didn't show quite the same dominance as day one, China got back at it with a 1-2 finish in the 50 back. Zhao Jing touched first in 28.69, while Gao Chang placed second in 28.88. Japan's Reiko Nakamura grabbed bronze in 28.89.

Men's 50 Freestyle
Syrian Rafd Zyad Almasri claimed his country's first gold of the Asiad by racing to first in 22.41. Japan's Makoto Ito took silver in 22.77, while China's Cai Li finished third in 22.95.

Women's 400 Freestyle
China went 1-2 again in the 400 free when Yang Jieqiao touched first in 4:12.75 during a race he led wire-to-wire. Zhu Wenrui, Jieqiao's compatriot, turned in a silver-winning time of 4:14.45, while Korea's Ji Eun Lee finished third in 4:14.95.

Men's 100 Breaststroke
Japan scored the top-two spots in the men's 100 breast when Asian record-holder Kosuke Kitajima hit the wall first in 1:01.13, well off his Asian record of 59.53 and the world record of 59.13 recorded by American Brendan Hansen on Aug. 1.

Makoto Yamashita finished second just behind in 1:01.50, while 50 breast winner Vladislav Polyakov of Kazakhstan, finished third in 1:01.63.

Women's 200 Butterfly
Hong Kong's Carmen Nam became one of the few non-Chinese gold winners in the women's meet with a triumph in the 200 fly. She touched in 2:19.94, while Japan's Yurie Yano finished second in 2:09.08. Korea's You Ri Kown took third in 2:10.53 to shut out the Chinese from medaling in a women's event for the first time of the Games.

Men's 200 Backstroke
Japan went 1-3 in the men's 200 backstroke as Ryosuke Irie placed first in 1:58.85 and Takashi Nakano snared bronze in 1:59.34. China's Ouyang Kunpeng split the difference for silver in 1:59.15.

Men's 800 Freestyle Relay
Japan kept the ball rolling with another win, this time in the 800 freestyle relay. Its quartet of Takeshi Matsuda, Yuji Sakurai, Takamitsu Kojima and Daisuke Hosokawa edged China with a title-winning time of 7:14.86. Meanwhile, the Chinese contingent of Yu Chenglong, Zhang Enjian, Chen Zuo and Zhang Lin finished second in 7:15.13.

Closing out the podium in a distant third, Korea's team of Nam Gyun Lim, Kyu Chul Han, Yong Hwan Kang and Tae Hwan Park stopped the clock in 7:23.61.

The top split of the final belonged to Hosokawa, who posted an anchor leg of 1:48.36, while Matsuda recorded the best leadoff leg in 1:47.83 – a time that would have given him silver in the individual event on Sunday.