Hangzhou (Reuters) – India’s shooters enjoyed another strong day at the Asian Games on Friday, with their men’s 50m rifle team breaking the world record on the way to beating China for gold on day six of competition in Hangzhou.
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Swapnil Suresh Kusale and Akhil Sheoran secured gold with a total of 1,769 points, six points more than China and eight more than the previous record set by the United States last November.
Their achievement, one of six golds for India so far in shooting in Hangzhou, earned praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“A stupendous win, prestigious gold and a world record,” he posted to his 92 million followers on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter. “They have shown exceptional determination and teamwork.”
China’s racewalkers gave the host nation plenty to cheer on Friday with a one-two finish in the men’s and women’s 20km events.
“I was the champion in the last Asian Games and to become champion now was not easy because these past two years I have actually experienced ups and downs,” said 20km world record holder Yang Jiayu after pipping compatriot Ma Zhenxia to gold by one second.
Friday sees the start of track and field events, with China’s Olympic, world and twice Asian Games champion Gong Lijiao set to compete in the women’s shot put final.
Also at the Olympic stadium, Afghan’s co-flagbearer Kimia Yousofi runs in the women’s 100m heats. The Australia-based sprinter may struggle to progress given that her personal best of 13.29 seconds is slower than the others in her heat.
She is one of 17 female Afghan athletes competing in Hangzhou, all based outside the long war-torn country, due to the Taliban’s effective ban on women’s sport.
One athlete who will not be competing at the Games is Li Wenwen after China’s Olympic weightlifting champion and world record holder pulled out due to an elbow injury, Games organisers said.
Li was withdrawn from the competition, which is due to run from Saturday until Oct. 7, after sustaining an injury during the recent World Championships in Riyadh, they added.