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Rowing preview: China expects opening gold at Hangzhou Asian Games

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-09-21 16:45
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HANGZHOU -- The Hangzhou Asian Games rowing competition starts on September 20 at the Fuyang Water Sports Center and China expects to win what could be the first gold medal of the Games.

China's rowing team is dominant in Asia, having taken nine golds and one silver at the last Asian Games in 2018. At the recently concluded 2023 World Rowing Championships, Chinese rowers and para-rowers clinched two medals and eight Olympic and Paralympic berths for Paris 2024.

For Hangzhou, they sent a total of 37 athletes, including 13 who participated in the Tokyo Olympics.

"Our team, which includes young rowers and Olympic champions, is generally ready after nine months of preparation," said Zhang Dan, deputy leader of China's rowing team.

The first gold medal of the Asian Games could be produced in the women's lightweight double sculls on September 24. China will be represented in the event by Zou Jiaqi and Qiu Xiuping, who took sixth place at the 2023 World Championships.

The women's quadruple sculls team, composed of Cui Xiaotong, Lyu Yang, Zhang Ling and Chen Yunxia, will strive for another good performance in Hangzhou after having won gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

"We will fight to be the champion, and hopefully we can win in all rowing events," said Cui.

In men's rowing, 36-year-old Zhang Liang and partner Liu Zhiyu, who took China's and Asia's first Olympic medal in men's rowing, will continue to ride the waves on the water. Zhang, who has already won three golds at the Asian Games and one at the World Championships, will also compete in the men's double sculls and men's single sculls.

Men's rowing competitions at the Asian Games have usually seen battles between China and Japan. After losing to Zhang five years ago in Jakarta, Ryuta Arakawa of Japan is sure to prove a fierce opponent.

"Winning glory for the country is the responsibility of every Chinese athlete, and we shall do our best to complete this task and make a good start for China," said Zhang.

The Asian Games rowing competition runs until September 25.

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