The Chinese delegation won big on Friday at the Tokyo Olympics, claiming four gold medals in a day – highest since the start of Games last week – bringing China’s gold medal haul to 19.
The biggest surprise came from the pool, with Wang Shun ending 17 years of US dominance in the 200 meters individual medley by an Asian record-setting 1:55.00.
“I can’t believe I swam 1:55.00 but I did it. There is a special sense of mission in Tokyo,” Wang told reporters. “It is the gold medal for everyone’s efforts.”
Wang’s win is China’s first men’s swimming gold medal at the Tokyo Games, after female butterfly specialist Zhang Yufei clinched two golds in a single morning on Thursday.
A three-time Olympian, Wang’s past at the Olympics has been mixed. Wang failed to advance in the heats at London Olympics in 2012, before winning bronze at the Rio Games in 2016 and standing on top of the podium in Tokyo.
Tokyo Olympics in Day 7: China bagged 4 gold medals in swimming, badminton, table tennis and trampoline gymnastics. Bravo to the gold medalists.
The 27-year-old said the Tokyo Games’ one-year delay due to COVID-19 did not have much impact on his training, as China’s sports authority provided maximum access to facilities training support in preparation for the Olympics. When asked about comments made by American Ryan Murphy who said Friday’s 200 meters backstroke final was “probably not clean,” Wang said, “Chinese athletes are always against doping and we adopt zero tolerance policy toward that.”
Later in the day, gymnast Zhu Xueying led China to the top-two podium positions in the women’s trampoline with teammate Liu Lingling.
Zhu Xueying (left) and Liu Lingling pose after the Womens Trampoline Final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday. Photo: VCG
“I didn’t think I would get a gold medal, but I think my performance was more stable compared to my practice,” said Zhu. “I put in a lot of effort to reach the podium.”With the Olympics being postponed for a year, I had more time to work to prepare and I made an effort to work on the things I wanted to improve.”
Despite China having won a combined record 11 Olympic medals on the trampoline, Friday’s result was the first time China had swept the top two podium spots in either men’s or women’s competition.
Badminton pair Wang Yilü (right) and Huang Dongping celebrate their Olympic victory after beating teammates Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong to win the badminton mixed doubles gold medal. Photo: VCG
Two other gold medals were secured in advance on Thursday as Chinese athletes set up all-Chinese finals both in badminton mixed doubles and table tennis men’s singles. Shuttling pair Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping outperformed teammates Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong to win the badminton mixed doubles gold medal.
China’s Ma Long became the first male table tennis player to win back-back Olympic titles in singles competition after outclassing world No. 1 and teammate Fan Zhendong 4-2 in the final at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday.Photo:Cui Meng/GT
Table tennis national team captain Ma Long culminated the day with a gold medal in the men’s singles, defeating younger teammate Fan Zhendong 4-2 in the final.