Divers, weightlifters carry on China's gold rush

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China won three gold medals on Sunday at the Tokyo Olympics with steady performances from its divers and weightlifters, while legendary gymnast Oksana Chusovitina bade farewell to the Olympics after failing in the vault qualification.

Li Fabin continued Chinese weightlifters' good form at Tokyo 2020 by snatching the country's second gold medal in the sport with his men's 61kg victory. He also set new Olympic records of 172kg in the clean and jerk, and 313kg in total.

Prior to Li, Hou Zhihui had triumphed in the women's 49kg category on Saturday.

Li said the pressure weighed heavily on him at the beginning, but the event went more easily than he expected from there. "Normally when you overrate your opponents a little bit, it becomes easier for you," he said.

Li's teammate Chen Lijun also shrugged off a slow start to complete a comeback and win the men's 67kg gold later in the day, sending China to the top of the Games' medal tally with six golds.

As expected, Chinese divers Shi Tingmao and Wang Han won the women's synchronised 3m springboard gold.

Shi Tingmao (front) and Wang Han of China compete during the women's synchronised 3m springboard final of diving at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, July 25, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Jingqiang)

It was China's fifth consecutive gold in the event since Athens 2004, and Shi's third Olympic gold medal in diving.

"I don't think success is defined by what we get, gold or silver, it's defined by how we take everything, good or bad, on the road to our goals," said the 30-year-old.

Sunday also marked the likely Olympic finale of legendary gymnast Oksana Chusovitina, as the 46-year-old failed in the vault qualification at her eighth Olympics.

When her final score was displayed on the screen along with a ranking of 11th, Chusovitina could not hold back the tears. Judges, volunteers, media workers and others paid tribute in a standing ovation in the near-empty venue.

"I had been preparing for things to end here, but it's impossible to be fully ready for this," Chusovitina told reporters after the competition. "I have spent a lot of time in gymnastics, now there isn't much time left."

It was a day to remember for Japan, who enjoyed a stunning gold rush. Swimmer Yui Ohashi earned gold with victory in the women's 400m individual medley in the morning.

In the judo competition, siblings Uta and Hifumi Abe become the first-ever brother and sister to win gold on the same day in any individual sport in Olympic history. Uta triumphed in the women's -52kg, while her elder brother Hufumi did likewise less than an hour later in the men's -66kg.

In addition, Yuto Horigomen became the first-ever Olympic champion in skateboarding. The 22-year-old world champion recovered from an uncertain start in the men's street final to claim victory with a total score of 37.18 points.

"When skateboarding officially became an Olympic sport, at first I was not thinking about participating. But I had built my way up to the Olympics with everything I have done, and I was really happy to get the gold medal this time," he said.

In swimming, 18-year-old Ahmed Hafnaoui of Tunisia made a splash when he swam an event-winning time of three minutes and 43.36 seconds in the men's 400m freestyle.

The youngster also ended the dominance of Australia, New Zealand and Asian nations in the men's 400m freestyle. A swimmer from outside Asia or Oceania had not won Olympic gold in the event since 1992.

In the women's 400m freestyle relay final, Australia set a new world record of 3:29.69 to win gold. Rio 2016 runner-up Chase Kalisz of the United States claimed the gold in the men's 400m individual medley.

American William Shaner won gold in the men's 10m air rifle with an Olympic record of 251.6 points, while 16-year-old Chinese Sheng Lihao grabbed the silver and compatriot Yang Haoran took bronze.

In volleyball, women's defending champions China suffered a shocking straight-sets defeat to Turkey.

China's captain Zhu Ting was substituted twice and only scored four points in an injury-affected performance.

"We were really ready [to defend against Zhu] when she was attacking us, we took almost all the ball when she attacked us," said Turkey's Cansu Ozbay, Zhu's former teammate at Turkey's VakifBank Sports Club.

Said China's top scorer Zhang Changning, "We didn't play our normal game today. Everyone feels very regretful. I hope we can adjust our mentality and play better in the next game."

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