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Day 1: Shooter Yi sparks China's gold rush as swimmer Sun Yang makes history


09:33, July 30, 2012

By Sportswriter Gao Peng

LONDON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Sun Yang became the first Chinese male swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal on Saturday as China swept four golds on the first full day of competition at the London Games.

The 20-year-old powered to the men's 400m freestyle victory in three minutes 40.14 seconds, dethroning South Korean Park Tae-Hwan, who only made it to the final after winning an appeal against a false start call in the morning's heats.

After overtaking Park at the final turn and touching home first, Sun climbed onto the lane rope and punched his fist in the air.

"The feeling is wonderful," he said. "It's a big dream come true."

Sun's time was just 0.07 seconds off the world record held by German Paul Biedermann.

But the most brilliant swim at the Aquatics Center was from Chinese teenager Ye Shiwen, who produced a stunning final leg to win the 400m individual medley in four minutes 28.43 seconds, eclipsing Stephanie Rice's record by more than one second.

American Elizabeth Beisle was second in 4:31.27, while Ye's teammate Li Xuanxu came third in 4:32.91.

"I thought I had lost the race after the first two legs," said the 16-year-old Ye. "But on the breaststroke I realized I was in the top 2 or 3 and I was confident I could win on the last leg."

"I dreamed of the gold medal, but never expected to break the world record. It's overwhelming," she added.

Early in the morning, shooter Yi Siling started China's gold rush with victory in the women's 10m air rifle at the Royal Artillery Barracks, the first medal event of the London Olympics.

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