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December 11, 2009

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Home » Sports » East Asian Games

Chinese Taipei grabs rare win

CHINESE Taipei swimmer Cheng Wan-jung won the women's 400-meter individual medley at the East Asian Games in China's Hong Kong yesterday, breaking China and Japan's lock on gold medals in the pool.

The 18-year-old Cheng's time of 4 minutes, 40.21 seconds was far from world class, but the victory over two Chinese competitors was sweet because it was a rare swimming triumph for Chinese Taipei.

Liu Jing, a member of China's world championship-winning team in the 4x200 freestyle relay, trailed the smaller Cheng by 0.13 seconds. Zheng Rongrong was third in 4:41.11.

Cheng said she was nervous about the final 100-meter freestyle because it's her weakest stroke and one of Liu's strengths.

"I was really scared that she would catch up," Cheng said. "If she did catch up, there would be nothing I could do about it because I was out of energy. I just used my determination."

Liu was also unhappy at her performance, unable to muster a smile at the podium.

But Cheng's win was just a small blip in an otherwise successful day at the pool for China. Chinese athletes won five golds on the last day of the swimming competition - in the women's 50m freestyle, the men's 50m freestyle, the women's 800m freestyle, the men's 400m freestyle and the women's 4x100m medley relay.

Japan posted wins in the men's 200m butterfly and the men's 4x100m medley relay.

The final day's results gave China a final gold medal tally of 20 at the pool to Japan's 19 golds.

In the first day of athletics action earlier yesterday, two Japanese runners and a South Korean pole vaulter prevented China making a clean sweep of the first 10 golds.

Kenji Fujimitsu won the men's 200m in 20.91 seconds and Ryosuke Awazu took out the men' 800m in 1 minute, 50.66 seconds. Lim Eun-ji clinched gold in the women's pole vault with a height of 4.20m. The trio were the only non-Chinese winners in track and field yesterday.

Yu Wei won the men's 20-kilometer walk in 1 hour, 26 minutes, 46 seconds, edging Japan's Koichiro Morioka by one second. Li Yanfei was the winner in the women's event, crossing in 1:35:33.

The other winners were Li Ling in the women's shot put (17.95 meters); Li Jinzhe in the men's long jump (7.85 meters); Jiang Lan in the women's 200 meters (23.92 seconds); Qin Qiang in the men's javelin (80.41 meters); and Liu Qing in the women's 800 meters (2:06.41).

China's Qi Haifeng was the leader in the decathlon with 3,899 points after five events.

Chinese Taipei was also enjoyed success over China in tennis yesterday.

In the women's singles final, world No. 95, Chinese Taipei's Chang Kai-chen, overcame China's Zhang Shuai, who made her name by upsetting then-No. 1 Dinara Safina at the China Open in Beijing in October.

Meanwhile, her teammate, Hsieh Su-wei, the ninth-ranked female doubles player, and her partner Chuang Chia-jung defeated their South Korean opponents in straight sets to clinch gold. China's Zhang Ze and Zeng Shaoxuan took the men's doubles title.

Yuichi Sugita defeated compatriot Tatsuma Ito in straight sets in an all-Japanese men's singles final.


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