Incheon: China's men's 4x100m relay team broke the Asian record as they raced to victory at the Asian Games Thursday, while Bahrain's African imports secured a hat trick of long distance golds.
Chen Shiwei, Xie Zhenye, Su Bingtian and Zhang Peimeng crossed the line in 37.99 seconds, becoming the first Asians to go below 38 seconds. It was also the third best time in the world this year.
Japan were a full half second back in second while Hong Kong snatched bronze from Thailand in a tight anchor leg on the sixth day of competition at Incheon's Asiad Main Stadium.
There was another Asian record for China in the men's javelin as Zhao Qinggang threw the second longest distance of 2014, a monster 89.15 metres -- nearly five metres clear of nearest rival, Ryohei Arai of Japan.
With a few exceptions the track and field performances in Incheon have been some way below world class. But there have been Asian Games records in 17 out of 46 events, with Friday's men's marathon still to come.
Chinese sprint star Zhang, who ran 10.00sec in last year's world championships in Moscow but only managed a disappointing fourth in the 100m final on Sunday, said the team had not set out to target the Asian mark.
"I never imagined we would break the record, we just focused on training to win the race. Relay is a team event and I'm really pleased with our efforts this time," he said.
China's women made it a relay double with victory in the 4x100m, led by 100m gold medallist and 200m silver medallist Wei Yongli.
India's women -- Piwar Priyanka, Lukka Tintu, Kaur Mandeep and Poovamma Machettira -- continued their dominance of the 4x400m, winning for the fourth Asian Games in a row.
There was last lap heartbreak for Japan's Suguru Osako in the men's 10,000m as Bahrain's Elhassan Elabbassi snatched gold with a cleverly-timed kick.
After slipping behind Osako with two laps to go, early pace-setter Elabbassi sat on his shoulder and pounced as the Japanese lapped a back marker, streaking away over the last 200m to win in 28 minutes 11.20 seconds.
Moroccan-born Elabbassi's shrewd tactical race completed a hat trick of long distance golds for Bahrain on Thursday, after Maryam Yusuf Jamal won the 5,000m and Eunice Kirwa the marathon.
With only the men's marathon to go, China lead the athletics medal standings with 15 golds, with Bahrain second on eight and Qatar third with six.
Virtually all of the Gulf states' golds have been won by athletes who switched nationality from African countries.
The trend is not a new one -- the same two countries have dominated the long and middle distances at the last two Asian Games with imported runners -- but has raised hackles in Incheon this week.
Chinese 100m silver medallist Su called it "unfair" and Olympic Council of Asia official honorary vice president Wei Jizhongo said countries should "work together to decrease" the number of imported medal winners.