Park Sizzles at Asian Games With Asian Record in 200 Free

By Jason Marsteller

DOHA, Qatar, December 3. TAE Hwan Park, Swimming World Magazine's Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year, notched the first Asian record of the 15th Asian Games held in Doha, Qatar on Dec. 3. He clocked a 1:47.12 in the 200 free. Meanwhile, Japan broke China's stranglehold on women's gold medals with a win in the 200 back from Reiko Nakamura.

Men's 100 Butterfly
Japan dominated the men's 100 fly with a 1-2 finish. Takashi Yamamoto won in 52.54, while Ryo Takayasu took home silver in 52.84. China's Wang Dong earned bronze in 53.03.

Women's 400 IM
China kept its day-one momentum rolling with a top-two sweep. Qi Hui touched first in 4:38.31, while Yu Rui scored silver in 4:39.51. Japan's Maiko Fujino completed the podium with a third-place 4:42.70.

Men's 200 Freestyle
Swimming World Magazine's Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year Tae Hwan Park threw down an Asian record in the 200 free. The Korean blazed to a 1:47.12 to lower his own standard of 1:47.51 set at the Pan Pacific Championships on Aug. 17, 2006.

China's Zhang Lin provided extra motivation by pushing Park the whole way before settling for silver in 1:47.85. Japan's Daisuke Hosokawa turned in a bronze-winning 1:49.62.

Women's 200 Backstroke
Japan's Reiko Nakamura broke China's iron grip on women's gold with a title-winning time of 2:10.33 in the 200 back. That effort held off China's Zhao Jing, who placed second in 2:11.54, while Japan's Takami Igarashi finished third in 2:12.55.

Men's 50 Breaststroke
Kazakhstan's Vladislav Polyakov hit the wall just ahead of Asian record-holder Kosuke Kitajima of Japan, 28.29-28.38, to secure the first gold medal for his country in this Asiad. Meanwhile, China's Wang Haibo (28.41) touched out Japan's Hiromasa Sakimoto (28.43) by .02 seconds to pick up the bronze.

Women's 400 Freestyle Relay
China got back on track in the 400 free relay when the quartet of Xu Yanwei, Yang Yu, Wang Dan and Pang Jiaying grabbed the title in 3:42.11. Japan's contingent of Norie Urabe, Maki Mita, Kaori Yamada and Haruka Ueda took silver in 3:45.86, while Hong Kong's team of Hannah Jane Arnett Wilson, Hiu Wai Sherry Tsai, Leong Kwai Lee and Hang Yu Sze garnered bronze in 3:48.82.