New sports, new medallists and new World Records
- Host China win first Gold of the Games and top overnight medal table
- Youngest competitor wins medal in the pool
- Canoe and Taekwondo make their Asian Para Games debut
- First ever Asian Para Games medals for Yemen
- Two World Records broken
The first medal event of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games began at 09.00 and China had to wait less than a minute to win their first Gold medal. Paddler XIE Maosan got the host nation off to a flying start when she crossed the line in 55.47 seconds in the Women’s KL1 Final in Para Canoe. After the event she said, “In the water I feel unrestricted, I feel like an able-bodied person, I feel totally free, like a totally different person from the one on land.”
It was Uzbekistan though who ruled the water at the Fuyang Water Sports Centre, taking three of the five Gold medals on offer, with NPC I.R. Iran matching China’s one. No Asian NPC has won a medal at the Paralympic Games since the sport was introduced in 2016 so it is hoped that the inclusion of the sport in the Asian Para Games will help develop the sport further in the region. The second and final day of canoeing is tomorrow (Tuesday 24th) with a further five medals up for grabs, before Rowing starts at the venue on Thursday.
Taekwondo also made its Asian Para Games debut. Thailand’s PHUANGKITCHA Khwansuda beat Uzbekistan’s ISAKOVA Ziyodkhov to take the gold in the Women’s K44 – 47kg contest and become the first Asian Para Games champion. Whilst in the men’s event, Chinese Tapei’s XIAO Xiang-wen defeated Japan’s TANAKA Mitsuya in the Men’s K44 -58kg to claim the same. Three medal events were held today at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre with China claiming the third. Two more days remain in the competition with four more gold medals being contested tomorrow.
Elsewhere, both Yemen and Kyrgyzstan won their first ever Asian Para Games medals. Kyrgyzstan’s ABDUVLIEV Zhalaldin (Silver in the men’s 5000m T11 Athletics) and KHUSAN KYZY Khaiitkhon (Gold in the women’s -48kg J1 Judo) and Yemen’s NASHWAN Shugaa Sami Ali (Bronze in the Men’s -60kg J1 Judo) all wrote their names into their country’s history books.
In the pool, China made their intentions clear in the first medal event of the day, taking a clean sweep of all three medals in the Men’s 100m Backstroke S6 and swiftly following this up with Gold and Silver in the Women’s event. Bronze went to the Games’ youngest competitor, NG Cheuk yan from Hong, Kong, China who is just 13 years old. With another two events to contest, including the 100m Breaststroke SB6 that she won silver at the recent world championships, she will be looking to add to her medal haul.
At the end of the first day of five, China stood atop the Swimming medal standings with 12 Gold medals out of a possible 19. In second was I.R. Iran with two gold medals
Over at the Para Athletics, fifteen NPCs shared the medals from 25 events, with China ending up top of the Athletics medal table with six gold medals. NPC I.R. Iran and India are chasing them hard though with five gold medals apiece.
In the stunning Chun’ an Velodrome, it was once again China who dominated the track cycling events, picking up four out of the five gold medals on offer and they were even more dominant in the Wheelchair Fencing, taking all four gold and silver medals on offer. Hong Kong, China and Thailand managed to get a bronze medal each to stop a clean sweep of every medal by China.
Other medals won today were in Powerlifting with China, Kazakhstan and Jordan winning one gold medal each and it was a similar story in Shooting, where this time China, India and the Republic of Korea all won one gold medal each.
It wasn’t all about medals though, two World Records were also broken. In Para Archery, Iranian ARAB Ameri Mohammad reza set a new World Record in the qualifying round of the Men’s Individual Recurve with a result of 667 and in Powerlifting China’s GUO Lingling broke the World Record in the Women’s -41kg event, lifting 123kg with her fourth lift of the day.
At the end of day one, a total of 72 medal events had been contested. China sits comfortably on top of the table with 31 Gold medals so they are well on their way to matching their tally of 172 Gold medals at the Jakarta 2018 games. Tomorrow will see medals contested in Para Athletics, Canoe, Cycling, Judo, Powerlifting, Lawn Bowls, Shooting, Swimming, Taekwondo and Wheelchair Fencing with the Wheelchair Basketball resuming.