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Chinese sprinter makes history at Tokyo Games

By WANG XU in Tokyo and SUN XIAOCHEN in Beijing | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-08-02 07:24
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Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian (center) competes in the men's 100-meter sprint final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games on Sunday. The race was won by Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs (second right), while Su finished sixth. [LI YIBO/XINHUA]

Sprinter Su Bingtian ran into the record books at the Tokyo 2020 Games on Sunday when he became the first Chinese athlete to qualify for the men's 100-meter sprint final at an Olympics, setting a new Asian record on the way.

Although Su finished sixth, he recorded a respectable time of 9.98 seconds, 0.18 seconds behind surprise winner Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy, who clocked 9.80 seconds.

Su stunned the athletics world when he ran his personal best of 9.83 seconds in his semifinal to qualify fastest for the final. The stunning time also made him the first Asian man to reach the men's 100m final at the Olympics in 89 years.

Japan's Takayoshi Yoshioka was the last Asian to appear in the final, finishing last in the event at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

"Actually, I am very happy to run under 10 seconds twice in such a short time," Su said after the race.

"Making it into the finals I have already given all I have."

Fred Kerley from the US took silver with a time of 9.84, while Canada's Andre de Grasse won bronze.

On Sunday, Gong Lijiao clinched China's first athletics gold at the Games with a personal best in the women's shot put.

The Chinese No 1 did not hit the 20m mark with her first three throws, but somehow stepped up and produced a lifetime best of 20.58m in her final attempt to grab the gold.

"This gold medal is not only for me, it's for all of my country, for the people who supported me," the 32-year-old said after receiving her gold medal.

Diver Shi Tingmao claimed her second gold medal of the Games on Sunday with victory in the women's 3m springboard.

The 29-year-old earlier won the synchronized women's doubles title. Shi took control of the competition from the start and finished with 383.50 points, more than 34 points ahead of her diving partner Wang Han, who took silver.

Coming into the second week of the Tokyo Olympics, China is still leading the medal tally with 24 golds, 14 silvers and 13 bronzes, followed by the United States with 20 gold, 23 silver and 16 bronze medals. The host, Japan, is in third place with 17 gold, five silver and nine bronze medals.

On Saturday, 37-year-old Lyu Xiaojun proved to the world that age is only a number when he won the men's 81-kilogram weightlifting division with a 170kg lift in the snatch and 204kg in the clean and jerk.

Lu Yunxiu also won gold on Saturday at the women's windsurfing RS: X final. It is the last time the event, male and female, will be featured at the Olympics.

China's top seed Chen Yufei defeated Chinese Taipei's world No 1 Tai Tzu-ying in the badminton women's singles final to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Games on Sunday.

The scores seesawed from the onset. Chen took the first game 21-18 and raced to an 11-8 lead in the second game. However, Tai recovered from 12-14 down to win the second game 21-19. In the deciding game, Chen dominated to clinch a 21-18 victory and won the final 2-1.

It was the first Olympic gold for Chen, 23, who is a two-time bronze medalist at the world championships.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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