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China Claims First Golds at Winter Asiad
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Chinese sensation Wang Fei scored the opening victory in the women's 3,000m speed skating for hosts China at the 6th Asian Winter Games in Changchun on Monday.

In the battle for the first gold of the Games, newly-crowned Asian all-around champion Wang, among the last two to compete, came in at four minutes 13.08 seconds to win the title, smashing the previous Asian record of 4:15.86 by over two seconds.

"It was really unexpected," said a delighted deputy team leader Li Ming. "We made thorough preparation for the competition and Wang performed brilliantly today."

Japanese Masako Hozumi finished second in 4:15.42, also surpassing the previous Asian best set by her compatriot Nani Nemoto in 2005. Maki Tabata from Japan settled for bronze in 4:17.00.

Later, China clinched the top three spots in the women's 7.5km biathlon as veteran Liu Xianying won the gold in 25 minutes 19.28 seconds with Kong Yingchao and Dong Xue second and third respectively.

(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2007)

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