Dubai: Kazuki Kohinata of Japan was the lone man standing in the way a clean sweep from China on the penultimate day of the swimming competition at the 9th Asian Swimming Championships being held at the Hamdan Bin Mohammad Sports Complex here late yesterday.
Kohinata re-wrote countryman Akihiro Yamaguchi’s record of 2:13.56 with a new mark of 2:12.13 in the men’s 200m breaststroke here leaving the Chinese without a medal for the only time in a race last night.
His teammate Kazuki Utsunomiya came in second while Thailand claimed its first medal of the evening with a bronze through Nuttapong Ketin’s third place.
But that one race proved to be the lone consolation for the rest of the field in a competition has been viciously dominated by China since the past three days here.
Earlier, China had showed no signs of relenting in their search for more gold medals while helping themselves to all six contested till Kohinata intervened with his swim in the men’s 200m breaststroke.
Leading the charge for China was London Olympic medallist Lu Ying and teammate Chen Yin with a double for themselves even as 13-year-old Xu Danlu showed a maturity way beyond her years while smashing the championship record in the women’s 400m freestyle.
Sun Yang bagged his third gold of the meet with a new championship mark of 14 mins, 44.10secs in his favourite 1,500m freestyle. But the major part of the excitement was the battle for second with Hao Yun of China and Japan’s Shogo Takeda tied with an identical time of 15:16.22.
Yang was one of just two men to break a world record at last year’s World Championships in Shanghai, shattering Grant Hackett’s 1,500m freestyle mark there, before bettering it on his way to taking gold at the Olympic Games in London earlier this year.
Lu had shown fine form earlier in the morning while setting the fastest time of 1:01.26 in the morning heats. And when she was challenged in the final, the Olympic silver medallist in this event responded in style breaking away in the final 25 metres but fell well short of the championship mark of 57.12secs of teammate Jiao Liuyang that was set in Foshan in 2009.
But it was their 13-year-old teammate Xu Danlu who was the toast of the evening as her time of 4:05.75 smashed the championship record of 4:11.46 standing in the name of countrywoman Tang Jingzhi set in Singapore in March 2006.
A third championship record was re-written after Lu Zhiwu powered his way to the men’s 100m freestyle gold in a time of 49.72secs, marginally bettering his own mark of 49.64secs that he had set in Foshan three years back.
But earlier it was Cheng Feiyi who had set the tone for the evening as he easily took the men 50m Backstroke gold with a new championship record time of 25.25secs, leaving Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto in second and teammate Xu Jiayu in third.
With one last day of the swimming left, China has an enviable 25 gold medals from a total 29 that have been contested so far.
The 9th Asian Swimming Championships is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman, Dubai Sports Council.
Men 50m Backstroke: Cheng Feiyi – China (25.25); 2. Takeshi Kawamoto – Japan (25.82); 3. Xu Jiayu – China (25.89).
Women 100m Butterfly: 1. Lu Ying – China (58.92); 2. Sze Hang Yu – Hong Kong (1:00.07); 3. Rino Hosoda – Japan (1:01.14).
Men 200m Butterfly: 1. Chen Yin – China (1:57.50); 2. Masato Sakai – Japan (1:57.52); 3. Hsu Chi Chieh – Taipei (1:59.68).
Women 400m Freestyle: 1. Xu Danlu – China (4:05.75); 2. Shao Yiwen – China (4:10.88); 3. Natthanan Junkrajang – Thailand (4:14.59).
Men 100m Freestyle: 1. Lu Zhiwu – China (49.27); 2. Toru Maruyama – Japan (50.82); 3. Shi Tengfei – China (50.89).
Women 100m Breaststroke: 1. Zhao Jin – China (1:09.27); 2. Back Suyeon – South Korea (1:09.71); 3. Misaki Sekiguchi – Japan (1:10.47).
Men 200m Breaststroke: 1. Kazuki Kohinata – Japan (2:12.13); 2. Kazuki Utsunomiya – Japan (2:14.68); 3. Nuttapong Ketin – Thailand (2:15.18).
Women 4x100 Freestyle Relay: 1. China (3:45.14); 2. Japan (3:48.26); 3. Hong Kong (3:49.15).
Men 1,500m Freestyle: 1. Sun Yang – China (14:44.10); 2. Hao Yun – China (15:16.22); 2. Shogo Takeda – Japan (15:16.22).