Chinese shooters went off to a highly flying start to their Asian Games campaign as they made a clean sweep of all six shooting gold medals at stake on Saturday.
The trio of Olympic champion Zhu Qinan, Li Jie and Liu Tianyou combined for 1,786 points to win the men's 10m air rifle team event, sparking off a gold harvest by China.
In sharp contrast to the mediocre performances of Zhu and Li, the silver medalist in Athens second to Zhu, the little-known Liu Tianyou turned out to be the hero of the defending Asian Games champions as he scored the highest 598 points among the 41 competitors in the event. Zhu and Li both finished on 594 points.
Liu, who is making his Asian Games debut, went onto to grabbing the gold medal of the individual 10m air rifle. The 24-year-old college student scored 102.8 points in the 10-shot final for a final tally of 700.8 points.
"I have never been surrounded by so many reporters," said a nervous Liu, who now studies at China's prestigious Tsinghua University. "I even don't know how to answer your questions."
"Half training and half studying is good for me because on the campus you feel much less pressure than in the national squad."
Despite the highest score of 104.3 points in the final, Zhu had to settle for the second place with 698.3 points. South Korea's Yu Jae Chul took bronze with 697.9 points.
Chen Li eqaulled the feat of Liu Tianyou when the 32-year-old veteran led China to a one-two finish in the individual trap and capturing the team title with Wang Yujin and Zhu Mei.
Overcoming shifting winds, Chen clinched 89 from a possible 100 hits in the trap for gold, with compatriot Zhu taking silver following a shoot-off with Chinese Taipei's Lin Yi-chun.
"Chen did a good job in such a windy day," said her coach Zhang Hui Qun. "It was a little bit cold this morning when the qualification round began due to heavy rains last night. But Chen managed to concentrate, and she deserved the victory."
Olympic champion Du Li then followed suit as she and Zhao Yinghui made another one-two Chinese finish in the women's 10m air rifle after winning the team trophy together with Wu Liuxi.
Du, the current world number one in the event, shot 398 points in the qualification round and 103.4 points in the final.
"I am not very satisfied with the score," she said.
Zhao Yinghui came in second place with a total of 501.0. Wu Liuxi finished third with 500.4 points, but was denied the bronze medal as the Asian Games rules stipulate that athletes from the same NOC cannot make a clean podium finish in any individual event.
The bronze medal thus went to fourth-ranked Olga Dovgun of Kazakhstan.
China won 27 shooting gold medals at the 2002 Busan Games, including 15 in team events.