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China's gymnasts sweep golds in team events at Jakarta Asiad

(Xinhua)    08:09, August 23, 2018

China proved its dominance at gymnastics in Asia as their athletes wrapped two more gold medals in men's and women's team event here on Wednesday at the 18th Asian Games.

The Chinese men's team, led by captain Lin Chaopan, the gold medallist of all-around event, beat arch rival Japanese to reclaim the gold medal, while Chinese females comfortably took the 12th gold in straight in the event.

China's men's team, including Lin, Xiao Ruoteng, Deng Shudi, Zou Jingyuan and Sun Wei, presented balanced and steady performances to earn 260.950 points. Japan harvested 248.550 points to claim the silver medal and South Korea brought home the bronze with 247.400 points.

In the women's event later on Wednesday night, despite all-around gold medallist Chen Yile and silver medalist Luo Huan both fell off bars, the Chinese team are still insurmountable with strong performances in beam and floor exercise and they claim the title with 165.250 points.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) edged Japan to win the silver medal with 157.350 points. The Japanese took the bronze with 157.150 points.

Despite two golds in hand in her Asiad debut, Chen Yile, 16, is still very new to deal with mounting pressures at international arena.

"I couldn't put up with it, but I will do better in the future. Asian Games taught me a good lesson," she said.

Qiao Liang, head coach of the Chinese women's team, saw the potentials of the young team.

"I'm very touched by the girls. We are a new team with a few experiences on international competitions. But they showed strong determination and desires to win, and that matters. It's a happy surprise tonight," said Qiao, former head coach of the U.S. team who started to coach Team China at the beginning of this year.

"I'm feeling good working with my team now. We're united and powerful," he said.

On the men's side, captain Lin Chaopan also attributed the victory to great teamwork.

"We have done a very good job today and it's a good beginning for the world championship this year." said Lin Chaopan. "We are united and determined. I didn't do well in floor exercise, but thanks to my brilliant teammates, they made it up with their great performances. "

"We know the victory here doesn't mean we are also able to win in Doha (world championships) later or even in Tokyo, but we have more confidence now," he said.

Chinese men's team had won 10 golds in straight since they debuted at the 1974 Tehran Games. But they surrendered the title to Japan in Incheon of South Korea four years ago.

Noting that Japan's top players were at home to prepare for the world championship from late October to early November, Ye Zhennan, team manager of China, played down the victory of men's team as "a meaningful test to the Chinese squad for Tokyo Olympics in 2020."

"It's not a competition against the real strength of Japan," he said. "We have seen improvements, but weakness too. I'm glad to see our team is getting mature, but no time for bragging. As a whole, our team still has a long way to go. The floor exercise, for instance, Japan is better. We have to work even harder."

The two Asian gymnastic powerhouses, assigned in the same group as the top two qualifiers, started competition face to face in floor exercise and Japan proved a cut above China to take the lead among eight teams with 42.150 points after the first rotation.

However, China fought back strongly to lead from pommel horse, their key strength, throughout the rest five rotations. They ranked the first place in four out of six disciplines, namely pommel horse, vault, parallel bars and high bar.

The highlight of the game came when Zou Jingyuan has secured China's gold with an unscathed difficult routine on parallel bars, which earned 16.100 points, the highest in a single discipline of all athletes in the first three days of competition.

Japan, however, saw Tomomasa Hasegawa fell off pommel horse, and again from high bar, their last discipline. Fuya Maeno, apparently affected by Hasegawa's failure, also fell onto the mattress after a high jump, which killed the team's chance for gold. The score gap between the two teams were extended to a distinctive 12.40 points.

"Absolutely not to make a mistake. If we do mistakes, I think that they will perform with confidence," said Mutsumi Harada, head coach of Japan, when asked how to fight against China at the world championships two months later.

Finals of men's floor exercise, pommel horse and rings, as well as women's vault and uneven bars will be held on Thursday.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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