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September 25, 2014

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Home » Sports » Gymnastics

Zou ends China’s wait for gold in men’s gymnastics

CHINESE Olympic star Zou Kai ended his country’s wait for a men’s gymnastics gold at the Incheon Asian Games yesterday with a world class floor routine performance.

China, the traditional powerhouse in Asian gymnastics, has made a poor start in the men’s division, slipping to third in the team competition and not even making the podium in the individual all-round event.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Zou, 26, went some way to making amends on the floor, surviving a couple of slight early stumbles to score 15.533 with the most difficult routine attempted on the night.

Liao Junlin added another men’s gold for China on the rings while for the women, Yao Jinnan added an uneven bars gold to her victory in the all-round event on Tuesday, forcing world champion Huang Huidan into second place.

There was gold for North Korea in the women’s vault as Hong Un-jong turned in a dazzling pair of runs to beat Uzbek veteran Oksana Chusovitina into silver in a rerun of the 2008 Olympic final.

Japan’s Masayoshi Yamamoto took gold on the pommel horse, ahead of Uzbek teenager Abdulla Azimov.

Zou, China’s most decorated Olympian, looked glum as he waited for his score to be announced and afterwards said he felt he was well off the magnificent standard he set at the 2012 Olympics.

“I’m not 100 percent satisfied with my performance on the floor,” he said. “I’m not in the best condition compared with when I was competing in London.”

Teammate Huang Yuguo, who only managed fourth in the individual all-round, made it a Chinese one-two with a score of 15.300.

Japan’s Yuya Kamoto, fresh from his gold medal in Tuesday’s all-round, turned in another tight routine to take bronze on 14.933.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Kosuke Hagino won his fourth swimming gold but China ruled the pool as it shot out to a big lead on the medals table. Hagino, 20, put in a strong final freestyle leg to add the 400m medley to his 200m medley, 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle titles in Incheon.

China rounded off another dominant day of competition with four swimming golds including the women’s 200m freestyle and butterfly. Shen Duo won the freestyle race, Jiao Liuyang topped the butterfly and Fu Yuanhui took the 100m backstroke before China’s men combined for a 4x100m freestyle win over Japan.

China grabbed five out of seven golds in its home-grown martial art of wushu and another five from seven in rowing.

Weightlifters Xiang Yanmei and Tian Tao also grabbed gold medals for China.


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