Chinese shooters grab 3 early gold medals

Updated: 2014-09-20 16:52


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Chinese shooters grab 3 early gold medals

Zhou Qingyuan of China competes during the women's 10m Air Pistol team finals of shooting event at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Sept 20, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua] 

INCHEON, South Korea - China grabbed three of the four gold medals at stake on the opening day of the shooting competition at the Asian Games on Saturday, including a surprise win in the women's 10-meter team air pistol event over the favored South Koreans.

Indian marksman Jitu Rai won the other gold on the opening day, the first for his country at the games.

China's win in the 10m air pistol event was the first gold won overall at the games. The team of Zhang Mengyuan, Guo Wenjun and Zhou Qingyuan scored an aggregate of 1,146 points to win the competition easily.

South Korea, led by London Olympics 25-meter gold medal winner Kim Jang-mi, was considered the favorite in the event, but finished fourth to the disappointment of the local crowd.

Guo, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion, shot 384 and Zhang and Zhou each scored 381. South Korea's Kim and Jung Jee-hae also shot 384, but Oh Min-kyung's poor score of 372 spoiled the team's chances.

"We were not sure of gold and the Koreans seemed a confident lot ahead of the games," Chinese coach Wang Yifu said. "One of their shooters did really bad and that made things easy for us. I thought it had something to do with the pressure of competing at home."

Zhang also picked up a gold medal in the women's individual 10m air pistol event with 202.2 points. South Korea's Jung was second with 201.3 points and India's Shweta Chaudhry took the bronze with 176.4.

The Chinese men's team also took the gold in the 50-meter pistol event with ease, scoring 1,692 points - a 20-point margin over second-place South Korea.

But Rai spoiled China's chances at a sweep of the golds in the men's individual 50m pistol.

The Indian soldier overshadowed the bigger names in the field as he continued a fine run this season that has seen him win six international medals in the 10-meter and 50-meter events, including individual golds at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the World Cup.

Rai held off Hoang Phuong Nguyen of Vietnam in a thrilling final. He trailed by just 0.7 points before taking the lead on the penultimate shot and finished with a score of 186.2 to Nguyen's 183.4.

"It has been a long and strenuous season for me but I was determined to win gold once it came to the last shot," Rai said. "All of it has come so fast and it will take time for it to sink in."

China's Wang Zhiwei was third and two-time Olympic champion and world record holder Jin Jong-oh of South Korea finished seventh.