Chinese lead medal tally

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> The men's and women's blue-ribbon events in the swimming competition at the 15th Asian Games were dominated by the Chinese swimmers on Wednesday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
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The men's and women's blue-ribbon events in the swimming competition at the 15th Asian Games were dominated by the Chinese swimmers on Wednesday. Chinese swimmers Chen Zuo and Xu Yanwei both won their second consecutive Asian Games 100 metres freestyle title at the Hamad Aquatic Centre. Zuo stunned his rival in the men's 100 metres freestyle final as he swam an Asian record 49.06 seconds to beat 17-year-old Korean Park Tae Hwan by almost a full second behind. Park defeated Daisuke Hosokawa for the silver after both swimmers had turned in fifth and sixth position respectively. "Yes, I thought I could break the Asian record. Before I came here, I had decided to swim within 49.50 seconds," said Chen Zuo, Chinese swimmer. Stable performance The women's 100 metres freestyle final resulted in a battle between China's Xu Yanwei and Pang Jiaying. Xu made a flying start and claimed gold despite Pang's very strong finish. Both have now won four golds at the games. Xu has now claimed back-to-back gold medals in the 100 metres freestyle, and also the 50 metres freestyle. She is the first swimmer to reach this sprint double milestone at the Asian Games. "Actually, my performance has been a very stable one. Just because other people's situation are not stable, sometime they are good, and sometimes they can have very bad performance. And I have often got the position of the second or the third, so it appears that I am not as consistent. But actually, my record has been a very consistent one," she said. Hui wins In the 200 metres breaststroke final, Qi Hui won China's third gold medal of the day. After three sizzling laps, Qi seemed on her way to breaking her own Asian record but she lacked speed in the final 50 metres. This didn't affect her chances of gold, however, as she finished almost four seconds ahead of team-mate Luo Nan. For Qi, a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics is her biggest goal and she needs to figure out her focus discplines. "Basically, I am developing myself in the disciplines of medley and breaststroke. About which one will be my focus for the 2008 games, I think this decision can only be done next year," added Hui. The remaining three gold medals were won by Japanese swimmers as Reiko Nakamura, Hidemasa Sano and Yurie Yano all picked up their second golds, lifting the country's gold medal tally in the pool to 13 with one day left in the swimming competition. After five days in the pool, China lead the medal tally with 15 golds, 18 silvers and six bronzes while Japan are second with 13 golds, 12 silvers and 14 bronzes. (AP)

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