More records tumble on penultimate night of Asiad swimming
Jakarta, Indonesia, August 23, 2018: Teenage sensation Rikako Ikee pocketed her fifth gold medal at the 18th Asian Games (Asiad) on Thursday as Japan edged ahead of China in their seesawing battle to finish the swimming competition as the top nation in the pool.
China backstroker Xu Jiayu bagged his fourth gold in Jakarta while Satomi Suzuki won two in less than 90 minutes and Singapore's Joseph Schooling picked up his second in 24 hours on a drama-charged penultimate night of action.
Eighteen-year-old Ikee lifted her overall medal wins in Jakarta to seven when she swam the butterfly leg in the Japanese relay team, which won the women's 4x100 meter medley final and is now tied for second place for the most gold medals and overall medals won by a competitor in any sport at a single Asian Games.
Only DPR Korea shooter So Gin Man, who has won eight medals, including seven gold, at the 1982 Asian Games, has accumulated more, but Ikee still has one more race to come on the sixth and final day of swimming.
Xu won the men's 200 m final to complete the backstroke treble after his earlier wins in the 50 m and 100 m and he celebrated in style, climbing on to the lane ropes and raising his arms in triumph.
He also won gold in the mixed medley relay and has a shot at a fifth in Friday's men's medley relay at the GBK Aquatic Center.
Suzuki won the 50 m breaststroke final in an Asian Games record time of 30.83 seconds, then dived back into the water just over an hour later to join forces with Ikee, Natsumi Sakai and Tomomi Aoki in the relay, where Japan obliterated the previous Asian Games record.
China finished the relay second and Republic of Korea touched third, but both were disqualified for leaving the blocks too quickly at a changeover, allowing Hong Kong to move up from fourth to second and Singapore from fifth to third.
Singapore also won a silver in the 50 m breaststroke after Roanne Ho finished third but was promoted to second when the runner-up, Japan’s Miho Teramura, was disqualified for an illegal underwater kick.
Schooling won the men’s 50 m butterfly in a desperate finish ahead of China’s Wang Peng, just 24 hours after he successfully defended the 100 m title he won in Incheon four years ago.
The pair were locked together as they lunged toward the wall, with Schooling just managing to get his hands there first in a time of 23.61, just 0.04 quicker than Wang.
"It was really, really close. I didn't know who had won until I looked up at the end. I almost couldn't believe it actually,” Schooling said.
“I'm just trying to do the best I can for my country. It's always more satisfying when you swim for something bigger than yourself."
Shinri Shioura beat his Japanese teammate Katsumi Nakamura by a fingernail to win the men’s 100 m freestyle gold in 48.71, with Nakumura clocking 48.72, while China’s Wang Jianjiahe smashed the Asian Games record to win the women’s 800 m freestyle.
With six finals remaining on the last day of swimming, Japan leads the medals table with 17 golds, followed by China with 16 and Singapore with two.