(Photo: Sina News)
JAKARTA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Asian sporting powerhouse China is enjoying a good lead in the medal standings of the 18th Asian Games as its athletes pocketed 17 gold medals on Thursday, the most since the opening ceremony.
China is far ahead now with 55 gold, 40 silver and 21 bronze medals, followed by Japan with 25 golds and South Korea with 16 golds.
China's gold rush on Thursday started in the morning session when its rowers and wushu athletes won five and four golds respectively.
In the men's rowing, Zhang Liang registered a time of 7 minutes 25.36 seconds to win the men's single sculls.
He brushed aside Kim Dong-yang from South Korea and Japanese rower Ryuta Arakawa, who ended up with silver and bronze medals respectively.
Another gold medal for China's men rowers was from the pair discipline, earned by Li Xiaoxiong and Zhao Jingbin with a time of 7:04.07, leaving behind Uzbekistan and Japan who seized silver and bronze medals.
In the women's part, Chinese rower Chen Yunxia won a gold medal in single sculls after clocking 8:08.21.
China also won women's double sculls and women's pair titles.
In wushu, Chinese athletes bagged four out of six golds on offer, all coming from sanda events. In the men's division, Shen Guoshun won the 56kg title and Li Mengfan claimed the 65kg title, while in the women's division, Li Yueyao and Cai Yingying won 52kg and 60kg titles respectively.
In the evening session, Chinese swimmers and gymnasts continued gold medal haul by winning two golds respectively.
China's world champion Xu Jiayu tasted sweet victory as a backstroke specialist as he won his third gold by taking the 200m title with a personal best of 1:53.99, which could place him No. 3 in the world of the year.
"My plan was to swim as fast as I could in the first 100m and set my own pace. I've been competing from the first day until now, the fifth day, I felt tired but I realized my dream step by step. My goal was to try to win five gold medals. I believe that I can fight until the last event, the men's medley relay tomorrow," said the 23-year-old Xu.
The 16-year-old Wang Jianjiahe from China, winner of 1,500m, led all the way through women's 800m freestyle and touched the wall first in a Games record of 8:18.55.
Chinese gymnasts have brought the team's gold medal number at these Games to six as veteran Deng Shudi and newcomer Liu Tingting won rings and uneven bars titles respectively.
Deng, 27, a bronze medalist of team event at Rio Olympics, outplayed Japan's Shogo Nonomura to take the gold with 14.750 points, while Liu and her teammate Luo Huan wrapped up the gold and silver medals for China with 14.600 and 14.225 points.
Previously, China won four gold medals in the men's and the women's team and all-around events.