Historic moment for China with Olympic rowing gold

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Chinese rowers Chen Yunxia, Zhang Ling, Lyu Yang and Cui Xiaotong compete during rowing Women's Quadruple Sculls final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, on July 28, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

After a 13-year wait, China claimed their second Olympic rowing gold medal in the women's quadruple sculls at Tokyo 2020 on Wednesday.

China also won a bronze medal in the men's double sculls, the first men's medal for China and Asia in an Olympic rowing event.

China's Cui Xiaotong, Lyu Yang, Zhang Ling and Chen Yunxia started strongly and led all the way to clinch gold in 6:05.13, a big margin of 6.23 seconds over second-placed Poland. Third place went to Australia with 6:12.08. China's winning result also lowered the previous world's best time of 6:06.84.

The quartet won a gold medal at the 2019 World Championships, and have remained unbeaten since then.

It has been 13 years since China achieved their first ever Olympic rowing gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, also in the women's quadruple sculls.

Zhang Liang and Liu Zhiyu, 2019 world champions, led the first 1,000 meters in the men's double sculls, but were surpassed later. They ended up with a bronze medal in 6:03.63, the first men's Olympic rowing medal for China and Asia.

France bagged gold in 6:00.33 in a new Olympic record time, and the silver went to the Netherlands in 6:00.53.

"Our goal was actually a gold medal," said Liu. "Anyway, it's a big breakthrough for China. It proves that we have the ability to compete against European rowers."

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