China betters Rio gold tally, Puerto Rico wins historic gold

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China pocketed five gold medals in weightlifting, cycling track, gymnastics and shooting at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, its biggest haul of gold medals in a single day so far in Tokyo.

Liu Yang of China celebrates during the artistic gymnastics rings final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 2, 2021. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

With still six days to go before the Games close, China's gold count has already reached 29, three more than its final gold tally at Rio 2016. China also has 17 silvers and 16 bronze from these Games.

The United States sit second in the medal table with 22 golds and 64 medals, and hosts Japan place third with 17 golds, 6 silvers, 10 bronze.

The Chinese weightlifters showed their supremacy again on Monday, as Wang Zhouyu and Li Wenwen emerged the winners in the women's 87kg and +87kg categories respectively.

China won seven golds and one silver in eight divisions it has participated in this time. This has equaled the record by any NOC: seven by the Soviet Union in 1976.

Failing on her 115kg first snatch attempt, Wang made timely adjustment to lift this weight before improving it to 120kg.

She then succeeded on 150kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 270kg, but failed on a possible new Olympic record of 160kg in her final attempt.

Wang had her category upgraded from 76kg to 87kg in 2019, and she was the winner at the World Championships in this division in the same year.

But Wang was not satisfied with her performance despite winning a gold. "It was far below my normal strength, but I will continue to work hard," she said.

Tamara Yajaira Salazar Arce from Ecuador came from behind to claim a silver with 263kg, while Crismery Dominga Santana Peguero from the Dominican Republic finished at 256kg for the bronze medal. She became the first female athlete representing the Dominican Republic to win an Olympic medal in an individual event in any sport.

Later, Li triumphed in the women's +87kg division, setting three new Olympic records en route to a gold medal.

Li, current world record holder in the snatch, clean and jerk and total, called 130kg in her first snatch attempt. It has already bettered other contestants, with the nearest rival, Sarah Elizabeth Robles from the United States, hoisting 128kg. Li lifted a new Olympic record of 140kg in her third attempt, setting a 12-kg cushion over Robles.

Li continued her dominance going into the clean and jerk section, hoisting an Olympic record of 180kg for a total of 320 kg, also a new Olympic record and 37kg over second-placed Emily Jade Campbell from Britain, who became the first British athlete to collect an Olympic medal in women's weightlifting.

In cycling, Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi showcased their consistency in track women's team sprint, setting a new world record in the heat before winning the gold medal.

Clocking 31.804 seconds against Lithuania, the Chinese pair bested the previous 32.034 seconds mark set by Zhong and fellow Gong Jinjie at the world championships in 2015.

Bao and Zhong finished in 31.895 seconds in the final, ahead of their German opponents Lea Sophie Friedrich and Emma Hinze, who clocked 31.980 seconds, giving China its second cycling Olympic gold.

"I did not think too much in the final, only to go for the gold," said Zhong, who paired with Gong Jinjie to win the first Cycling gold for China at Rio 2016.

Team Germany broke the world record of the women's team pursuit in the qualifying race. The German cyclists covered the 4,000m distance in four minutes and 07.307 seconds, shattering the previous world and Olympic record of 4:10.236 set by Britain five years ago at Rio 2016.

China eventually claimed a gold in gymnastics, when Liu Yang and You Hao made a 1-2 Chinese finish in the men's rings. Liu scored 15.500 points to finish at the top, ahead of You with 15.300 points. Greece's defending champion Eleftherios Petrounias took bronze in 15.200 points.

On the last day of shooting competition, Zhang Changhong broke the world record to win the men's 50m rifle 3 positions title. It's China's fourth gold in shooting at Tokyo 2020, the country's best ever Olympic performance in the sport.

Zhang Changhong of China poses during the awarding ceremony after the 50m rifle 3 positions men's final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 2, 2021. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

With 466 points, the 21-year-old Olympic debutant set a new world and Olympic record to beat Russian shooter Sergey Kamenskiy, who bagged silver with 464.2 points.

The result is 0.7 points better than the 465.3-point world record set by his fellow countryman Yang Haoran in 2018.

Puerto Rican hurdler Jasmine Camacho-Quinn delivered the first Olympic athletics gold for her country, winning the women's 100m hurdles final.

Camacho-Quinn finished the race in 12.37 seconds after breaking the Olympic record in Sunday's semifinals with 12.26.

Camacho-Quinn's gold medal came after she failed to make the finals at Rio 2016 after hitting a hurdle during her semifinal.

"I need to let it go," she said. "Yesterday before the semifinal I had a breakdown, but I don't want the same thing to happen again."

Cuba's Mijan Lopez defeated Iakobi Kajaia of Georgia 5-0 to claim the gold medal in wrestling men's Greco-Roman 130kg category. The 38-year-old is the first male wrestler to win four Olympic gold medals.

Monday's sailing competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

Organizers announced that the men's 49er and the women's 49er FX have been postponed until Tuesday, in addition to the races scheduled for that day. 

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