Having trailed host nation Korea in the medals table after Day 2 of the games, China enjoyed a prosperous Day 3 as they moved to the summit. But the undoubted star of the show was a Japanese swimmer, who picked up his third gold medal of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.
At major tournament games, there is often a breakout star, and the man that's caught the eye at the 2014 Asiad has been 20-year-old swimming sensation Kosuke Hagino. He was in blistering form in the pool once again, along with a host of other swimmers, as competition records fell freely.
Aside from Hagino's heroics, there was also massive drama in the shooting events as a world record was broken in controversial fashion.
Here's a look at the main stories from Day 3 and the very latest standings in the race to top the medals table.
|Asian Games 2014: Medals Table|
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Kosuke Hagino Stars In The Pool Again
The Japanese swimmer showcased his wonderful versatility in the pool, romping home in the final of the 200-meter individual medley. He finished three seconds clear of compatriot Hiromasa Fujimori and Shun Wang of China, who took second and third place, respectively.
Hagino smashed his own Asian record in the process, as confirmed here by SwimSwam:
And things were to get even better for Hagino, as he helped the Japanese team to a comfortable win in the final of the men’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay, breaking another Asian Games record in the process.
After winning the individual goal in the 200-meter freestyle, it means the 20-year-old now has three gold medals from three events. He’s showcased magnificent maturity for one so young and has admitted his aim is to emulate Michael Phelps one day, per sports.ndtv.com:
Michael Phelps is my role model and I'm trying to become like him.
I want to catch up with Phelps someday. But I have to put up the results and this is a big step. First I will try to win as many medals as I can at these Games.
He’s got a long way to go until he gets to that level, but the Japanese superstar is certainly a name to look out for at the Olympic Games in Rio in two years' time.
There were some scintillating times being posted by the swimmers throughout the morning, as Asian Games records fell in all but one of the finals. Junya Koga of Japan was especially impressive in winning the men's 50-meter backstroke, while the Chinese pair of Duo Shen and Yi Tang led home a Chinese 1-2 in the women's 100-metre freestyle.
World Record Drama For Chinese Shooters
Another excellent day for the Chinese team began in some style as the women’s 10-meter air pistol team event trio of Zhang Binbin, Yi Shiling and Wu Liuxi took the gold medal with a superb haul of 1,253.8 points.
But in a dramatic twist, the team were controversially disqualified after Zhang’s weapon was deemed to have breached tournament regulations. A successful appeal was lodged, though, and the Chinese team had their score and medals reinstated.
Zhang—who would have been unable to compete in the individual event had the ruling stood—insisted that she was confident the appeal would succeed and she would be allowed to compete, per Peter Rutherford of Reuters:
I believed everything that I did was right. So I tried not to worry about it. I had faith that I would advance to the finals, and I kept telling myself that.
And advance to the finals she did, although the drama of the morning looked to have unsettled Zhang. She had to settle for bronze in the final, as the Iranian duo of Najmeh Khedmati and Narjes Andevari Emamgholinejad finished in first and second position, respectively.