World champs Qin, Xu make hat-tricks, Zhang sweeps 6 golds in Hangzhou Asiad swimming

Hangzhou, Sep 30 (IANS): World champions Qin Haiyang and Xu Jiayu from China achieved hat-tricks in the men's breaststroke and backstroke respectively at Hangzhou Asian Games, the last day of the six-day swimming competition. Tokyo Olympic champion Zhang Yufei added women's 50m butterfly to her six-gold collection.

In the men's 50m breaststroke, Qin touched home first in 26.35 seconds in style, while China's Sun Jiajun trailed in 26.92 for the silver. South Korean swimmer Choi Dongyeol came third in 26.93, reports Xinhua.

The 24-year-old shattered the 200m breast world record with 2:05.48 in the Fukuoka worlds in July and became the first swimmer to complete a sweep of the breaststroke disciplines in a single edition of the world championships. At the Hangzhou Asiad, Qin completed a treble exploits again.

Backstroke specialist Xu, who won five golds at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, clinched the men's 200m title in 1:55.37. South Korea's Lee Juho came second in 1:56.54 and Japan's Hidekazu Takehara took third in 1:57.63.

Xu underlined his supremacy in backstroke again by securing three gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m, with his gold tally at five at the Hangzhou Asiad.

Zhang grabbed her sixth gold in the Games in the women's 50m butterfly with a new Games record of 25.10 seconds, surpassing the previous mark of 25.55 set by Japan's Rikako Ikee at the Jakarta Asiad. Her teammate Yu Yiting came in second in 25.71, and Ikee settled for bronze in 26.02.

"It was the first time that I competed with an illness, so it affected my performance a bit," admitted 25-year-old Zhang, with tears welled up in her eyes.

After finishing her last race in Hangzhou, the gold medalist said that through the Asian Games, she can look forward to the Paris Olympic Games at a higher platform. "I will give myself 95 points out of 100 for my performances at these Games," she said.

In the women's 800m freestyle, 21-year-old Li Bingjie from China stood atop the podium in eight minutes 20.01 seconds. Japan's Waka Kobori and another Chinese swimmer Yang Peiqi finished second and third respectively.

In the men's 400m freestyle, South Korea's Kim Woomin came in the first place in 3:44.36. China's rising star Pan Zhanle finished behind in 3:48.81, and Vietnam's Nguyen Huy Hoang got the bronze in 3:49.16.

In other races on Friday, Japan's Tomoru Honda claimed the men's 200 butterfly title in a Games record of 1:53.15. Japan also secured the gold medal in the women's 4x100m medley relay in 3:57.67.



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Title: World champs Qin, Xu make hat-tricks, Zhang sweeps 6 golds in Hangzhou Asiad swimming

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