China's athletes exceeding expectations at Hangzhou Asiad: official
Updated:2023-10-01 18:45   Source:Xinhua   author:huaxia

Sheng Lihao competes in the men's 10m air rifle final at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Sept. 25, 2023. (Xinhua/Jia Haocheng)

Exceeding expectations halfway through, Chinese athletes are expected to clinch over 180 gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

HANGZHOU, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- China's delegation has had a great start and reinforced its status as the leader on the medal tally and exceeded expectations, said the delegation's Secretary General here on Saturday.

Zhang Xin made the remarks to Xinhua as the Hangzhou Asian Games reached its halfway mark.

"Chinese athletes have fought hard and competed courageously, giving it their all on the field and continuously achieving excellent results," Zhang said of China's 107 gold medals as of Saturday afternoon. "China got off to a good start and maintained good momentum to win gold medals, topping the medal tally by a large margin."

On top of the medal tally, China has also set two world records - in the men's 10m air rifle and the men's 25m rapid-fire pistol team - seven Asian records and 16 Games records, along with several season's best finishes.

Ye Shiwen reacts after winning the women's 200m breaststroke, Sept. 28, 2023. (Xinhua/Xue Yuge)

Meanwhile, multiple veterans have extended their glory run at Hangzhou, as three-time Olympic champion Ma Long helped China achieve their eighth consecutive men's table tennis team title. Olympic champion Ye Shiwen underlined her return to top form by claiming the women's 200m breaststroke title.

36-year-old rower Zhang Liang has shown great resilience to clinch gold in his fourth Asiad, while 34-year-old Wushu athlete Sun Peiyuan secured his third consecutive Asian Games title.

Inspired and encouraged by the veterans, a number of young athletes have emerged with promising performances. Shooter Huang Yuting, who is under 18, won three gold medals in the 10m air rifle individual, team and mixed team. Cui Chenxi, the youngest member of China's delegation, claimed gold in the women's skateboarding street, and 18-year-old track cyclist Yuan Liying broke the Games record and the Asian record three times in a row with her teammates in the women's team sprint.

Zhang Dong in action during the men's kayak single 1000m heat, Sept. 30, 2023. (Xinhua/Du Xiaoyi)

With a total of 74 Paris 2024 Olympic quotas up for grabs at the Asiad, China has secured seven so far, with three in sailing, two in modern pentathlon and two in tennis. Having also hit Olympic A Standards in 11 swimming events, many Chinese athletes have secured their places at Paris Olympic Games.

"The number of gold medals exceeded predictions prior to the Games, and the overall performance of China's delegation has been better than expected," Zhang concluded.

According to the competition schedule, sports where China has a strong advantage, like weightlifting, diving and canoe sprint, all start on Saturday, while table tennis and badminton are likely to see world-class clashes soon.

"Chinese athletes will maintain their high morale to achieve more excellent results and win more high-quality gold medals," Zhang noted.

"The total number of gold medals is expected to exceed 180."