HANGZHOU, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- China dominated the first day of mountain bike competition at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday, with Li Hongfeng and Mi Jiujiang each securing a gold medal for the hosts.
Set against the picturesque backdrop of Qiandao Lake, Chun'an County, the race features a challenging route full of obstacles. In addition, scorching temperatures on the day posed a significant test for the riders.
In the women's cross country race, Li and her fellow teammate Ma Caixia displayed remarkable prowess from the very first lap, establishing a noticeable lead. They finished 1-2 with times of 1:30:59 and 1:36:45 respectively. Iranian cyclist Faranak Partoazar secured third place.
Li, a silver medalist at the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, was full of emotions after winning gold this time. "I've been waiting for this moment for five years. I was excited when I crossed the finishing line," said the 28-year-old.
"I did a lot of preparation during the last two months," she shared. "Today I won, but this is not only a personal victory, but a victory for my support team, including my coach."
Mi took the men's cross-country title after an intense battle with compatriot Yuan Jinwei.
They were neck-and-neck for the majority of the race but Mi gradually extended his lead as he crossed the line in 1:32:37. Japanese cyclist Toki Sawada secured a bronze medal.
The track cycling events will start on Tuesday, with two gold medals up for grabs in the women's and men's team sprint races.