Women keep China on track while Japan's men dominate

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 May, 1997, 12:00am

CHINESE women ruled the track yesterday at the East Asian Games, but the men's events were dominated by Japan.

Their countries grabbed four golds each, while Kazakhstan and South Korea each won one.

Overall, the Koreans, who had trailed Japan by 11 gold medals in the standings on Friday, reduced the deficit to six with 34 gold, 29 silver and 41 bronze medals to Japan's 40 gold, 45 silver and 42 bronze.

The Koreans were third in the medal standings in the Shanghai Games four years ago with 23 gold against Japan's 25, and have set their sights on beating Japan into third spot on their home ground.

China kept the lead, winning six events to stand with 50 gold, 49 silver and 50 bronze medals with two more days remaining in the Games.

In athletics, China's Yan Jiankui won the gold in the women's 200-metre race with 23.44 seconds from teammate Chen Yuxiang's 23.82. Japan's Motoka Arai won the bronze.

Jian Zhang won the 800-metre event from Japan's Minori Hayakari in 2:06.16 to 2:07.65. Li Lei won the women's javelin from South Korea's Lee Young-son, with a throw of 56.92 metres to 56.10.

But China failed to stage a clean-sweep of the women's events when Kazakhstan's Natalya Torshina won the 400-metre hurdles in 55.90 seconds, beating Taiwan's Hsu Pei-chin. China's Li Rui missed the silver by 0.06 seconds.

China also stole the men's 20,000-metre walk from Japan, with Jiao Baozhong taking the race in one hour, 23 minutes and 58.59 seconds, with Daisuke Ikeshima posting 1:23:59.99.

South Korea also took first and second places in the men's 800-metre race.

Kim Soon-hyong beat teammate Lee Jae-hoon in a time of 1:49.00 to 1:50.75. China's Yi Zhang took the bronze with 1:50.78.

But Japan took the remaining four men's events, grabbing the 200 metres and the 400 metre hurdles, as well as the long jump and the hammer.

Koji Ito won the 200 metres from China's Danwei Huang, 20.98 seconds to 21.05, while Kazuhiko Yamazaki beat teammate Yoshihiko Saito 49.60 to 50.41. China's Tan Chunhua won the bronze in 50.73.

Masaki Morinaga won the long jump with a leap of 8.13, while Koji Murofushi won the hammer throw. China took the silver and the bronze in both events.