China excelled in the first competition day of the 18th Asian athletics championships on Tuesday as the host nation clinched two of the five gold medals on offer.
Doha Asian Games champion Xue Fei delighted the home crowd as she won the first gold medal of the Asian championships in a thrilling women's 5,000 meters final.
The 20-year-old claimed the title with a last-gasp dash in 16:05.19, while Tejitu Daba Chalchissa of Bahrain took the silver with 16:05.45. The bronze went to Kavita Raut of India, who clocked 16:05.90.
Xue was lurking behind in the fifth place until the last 40 meters when she forced her way past the first groups to win the race.
"I have run out of breath in the middle of the race, but on the last 40m I was pushing so hard," said Xue, who just won the event in the Chinese National Games in October. "I was confident that I could do it."
The Asia record of the event is 14:28.09, set by Chinese Jiang Bo in 1997.
"I am quite satisfied with the result, although it's not remarkable compared with the National Games," she said. "I am not at my top form."
"I was the champion of the event in 2006 Doha Games, so I told myself that I must be the champion here."
In the women's shot put, Chinese Gong Lijiao threw 19.04m to clinch the gold medal, whose personal best was 20.35m. Her compatriot Liu Xiangrong took the silver with 17.55m, while Leyla Rajabi of Iran finished third with 16.71m.
"I performed my normal level today," said Gong. "I didn't have much training after the National Games.
"The shot put in Asia has developed a lot in recent years, and my biggest rival in the final was also from China, so I almost have no pressure," she added.
China also won another silver and a bronze on Tuesday as Chen Yaling finished second in women's long jump with 6.28m, while Ma Liang took third in men's hammer throw with 70.08m.
In the men's 5,000m final, Chinese Tian Mengxu took the fifth place with 14:09.70, while the gold was won by Qatar's James Kwalia with 14:02.91.
Bahrain's Hasan Mahboob took the silver after timing 14:03.44, while the bronze also went to Qatar as Essa Ismail Rashed 14:04.52.
Marestella Torres took a gold for the Philippines by winning the women's long jump with 6.51m, while Dishod Nazarov of Tajikstan also gifted his country a gold by claiming the men's hammer throw title in 76.92m.
The 18th Asian athletics championships is held from Nov. 11 to 14 at Guangzhou Olympic Sports Center.