Thu, 07 Dec 2023

HANGZHOU, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese rowers grabbed the Hangzhou Asian Games opening gold in women's light-weight double sculls here on Sunday morning.

Zou Jiaqi and Qiu Xiuping, who finished sixth at the 2023 World Championships just weeks ago, won with a comfortable lead in seven minute 6.78 seconds at the Fuyang Water Sports Center in the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.

They were followed by Uzbekistan rowers Luizakhon Islomova and Malika Tagmatova with a result of 7:16.49 and Chelsea Corputty and Mutiara Rahma Putri from Indonesia in 7:17.64 in Fuchun river.

With China's hope for the Hangzhou Asiad opening gold on their shoulders, the girls had handled the pressure well.

Progressing into the final as the first place in the preliminaries, the duo took the lead soon after beginning of the final. Accompanied by a wave of cheers, Zou and Qiu sailed past the finish line first, leaving their competitors way behind.

After the competition, Zou, 21, extended her gratitude to her family and the staff.

A native of Zhejiang, she said: "I grew up drinking the water from Fuchun River here. It makes me so excited to win the game here. The victory gives both of us much more confidence, and we hope to stand on the top podium in Paris next year as well."

Luizakhon Islomova told the press that the competition was "very fierce", and they have already done their best to win the medal.

The rowing competition of the Hangzhou Asian Games consists of 14 events, seven men's and seven women's apiece. China, who claimed nine gold and one silver medals in the last Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018, has sent 37 rowers this time, including 13 Tokyo Olympians.

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