China dazzled and dominated in the gymnastics apparatus finals at the Asian Games, but they didn’t have it all their own way with South Korea getting one gold.
Joint favourites before the action got underway, there was nothing to choose between South Korean Kim Soo-Myun and China’s Zhang Chenglong, as they shared gold with a score each of 15.400 points in the men’s floor.
The event was also notable for a surprise bronze for India’s Ashish Kumar, who nudged China’s Feng Zhe out of medal contention, disappointing fans in the state-of-the-art Asian Games Town Gymnasium.
It was India’s first ever Asian Games artistic gymnastics medal and completes a hugely successful past month for Kumar, who won two medals at last month’s Commonwealth Games.
A victorious Zhang said: “I performed well because I was in good condition. I didn’t choose the highest difficulty in order to reduce my mistakes.
“I was nervous when Kim finished his routine because his score for difficulty was higher than mine, but I had the advantage over him in my execution because I dismounted cleanly.”
Kim said: “It’s my first gold medal in the Asian Games so I’m very pleased.
“When I trained I always dreamed tens or hundreds of times a day about this.”
From then on the formidable Chinese men and women took over, winning all four of the other gold medals on offer.
Teng Haibin won the men’s pommel horse and Yan Mingyong took silver, while female teammate Huang Qiushuang, the strong favourite, clinched the vault gold, her first of two medals on a memorable evening.
The Japanese pair of Rie Tanaka and Momoko Ozawa took vault silver and bronze.
Teng had been clear favourite to strike gold and didn’t disappoint a packed house with some deft handiwork.
Chinese coach Chen Xiong had predicted his team would win “for sure” and Teng was a class apart.
“I was really moved by the crowd’s cheering,” said Teng. “They gave me great support when I was on the horse.
“Having been through injuries and an average mental state, I didn’t do well before, but now I have reached a new milestone and this really enhances my confidence.”
China’s Chen Yibing, gold medal winner on the rings at the Beijing Olympics, added another title to his bulging trophy cabinet on the same piece of apparatus. Yan won his second silver of the evening.
Olympic champion He Kexin, sporting a bright pink outfit, completed another night of Chinese supremacy with a brilliant showing on the uneven bars, scoring 16.425 points to seize gold with Huang earning silver.