Friday, October 11, 2013

East Asia Games: Swimming star Ye claims gold

BEIJING: Double Olympic Champion Ye Shiwen claimed gold in the 200m individual medley at the East Asian Games Friday, as China continued to power ahead in the medals table.

Ye won the race ahead of Hong Kong's Siobhan Bernadette Haughey, who took silver, and bronze medal winner Sakiko Shimizu of Japan.

Seventeen-year-old Ye has had an indifferent year after she stunned the world at the 2012 London Olympics, taking gold in both the 200m and 400m individual medley events.

She set a new world record of 4 minutes 28.43 seconds to claim the 400m title and also broke the Olympic record in the 200m event.

However, she failed to win a single medal at the World Championships in Barcelona in late July.

Ye is the star name for China at the East Asia Games, which are being held in the northern port city of Tianjin.

Her swimming teammate, Jiao Liuyang -- who also won gold in London, in the 200m butterfly -- claimed bronze in Tianjin in the 50m butterfly event.

Jiao's compatriot Lu Ying won gold, while Japan's Yuka Kato claimed silver.

"I think my performance was not bad," said Jiao.

"I was predicting a third place finish after I came third in the heats."

Jiao also experienced a disappointing World Championships, finishing sixth in her favourite event, the 200m butterfly. However, she recorded the world's fastest time of the year -- 2min 4.54sec -- at China's National Games last month.

Her time at the 50m butterfly in Tianjin was 26.85sec, behind Lu's 26.19sec.

In the overall medals table the hosts had an impressive 83 golds, nearly four times the 23 won by second-placed South Korea. Japan was third with 18.

This year's East Asia Games features more than 2,400 athletes from China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Guam, competing in 24 different sports.

It is the last time the East Asian Games will be held in their current form, the state news agency Xinhua reported, with the event due to be transformed into a youth games for athletes aged 14 to 18.

- AFP/fa

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