BEIJING: China powered ahead in the medals table at the East Asian Games on Wednesday, dominating the martial arts events as they reached their climax.
With 12 martial arts golds up for grabs on Wednesday, by late afternoon China had taken six of them, compared with three for Hong Kong and one for South Korea.
The host nation had already won six of the eight martial arts golds awarded in the first two days of competition at the 10-day regional contest.
Wednesday’s haul included four of the six gold medals to be contested in the sanshou [wushu sparring]events—in which gloved fighters confront each other in physical combat.
Among the victorious Chinese fighters were Xiao Chun, who won the 52 kilogram event, and Li Kang, who claimed gold in the 56 kilogram category.
South Korea’s Ham Gwansik took gold in the 65 kilogram event, while Hong Kong’s Li Sone-wai won the 60 kilogram contest.
Chinese women fighters Feng Yufang (48 kilogram) and Qiu Tiao (52 kilograms) also took gold in their categories.
China also took two of the four gold medals in the taolu [forms]events, in which athletes do not engage in fights but are assessed on their techniques.
Liang Yongda took the gold for men’s nanquan and nangun, where fighters are assessed on their techniques in a type of boxing which translates into English as “Southern Fist”, and also their combat techniques using a stick-like weapon.
Chinese women’s pair Zhao Longlong and Xin He also claimed gold in their non-combative event.
Hong Kong took a pair of “taolu” golds, one in a men’s event and the other in a women’s event assessing techniques in stick and sword weapon use.
By late afternoon Wednesday, China had a total of 55 gold medals overall, ahead of South Korea on 16 and Japan on 12.
This year’s competition 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 in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.