Uzbekistan’s Kirill Pankov won three gold medals in just two days (19 and 20 October) at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games and broke four Asian and five Games records on the way.
The 19-year-old started his gold medal haul on Sunday (19 October) winning the men’s 50m freestyle S13 in a new Asian and Games record of 24.98. He then went on to win the men’s 100m backstroke S13 on Monday (20 October) in a time of 01:02.08, breaking the Asian and Games record he had previously set in the heats.
Not even two hours later, Pankov won another gold medal in the men’s 100m freestyle S13, yet again in a new Asian and Games record time.
Pankov is not the only Uzbek athlete making a name for himself at the Asian Para Games with Dmitriy Horlin also taking home three gold in two days.
On Sunday, Horlin finished on top of the podium in the men’s 400m freestyle S12 in an Asian and Games record time of 04:14.12, before he went on to win the men’s 50m freestyle S12 less than two hours later in a new Games record of 25.66.
One day later the 17-year-old took the gold medal in the men’s 100m freestyle S12 setting a new Asian and Games record of 56.50.
Japan’s Takuro Yamada, and Chinese teammates Furong Lin and Jiexin Wang also managed to take three gold medals in just two days.
While Yamada dominated the men’s S9 class by winning the men’s 50m, 100m freestyle S9, the men’s 200m individual medley SM9, Wang demonstrated her strength in the women’s S9 class.
Wang beat her compatriot Paralympic champion Ping Lin in the women’s 50m freestyle, the 100m freestyle and in the 100m butterfly. Lin however won the women’s 200m individual medley SM9.
Furong Lin won his three gold medals in the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle S10 and the men’s 100m butterfly S10 beating Iran’s Shahin Izadyar and Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Li in all three races.
Double world champion Keiichi Kimura of Japan is now also a double Asian Para Games champion. The 24-year-old took gold in the men’s 50m freestyle S11 and the men’s 100m freestyle S11 on Sunday and Monday respectively.
Kimura’s compatriot Kyosuke Oyama – bronze medallist at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada – won the men’s 400m freestyle S6 beating China’s Qing Xu in the final.
Vietnam’s Thanh Tung Vo put on an impressive performance in the men’s S5 class. The 29-year-old finished first in the men’s 200m freestyle just 0.02 seconds ahead of Malaysia’s Jamery Anak Siga. The men’s 50m backstroke was also a close race with Vo beating China’s Chao Zhang by just 0.38.
Thanh Trung Nguyen added to Vietnam’s medal tally by winning the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4 and beating the 12-year-old Asian record in a time of 01:50.91.
Maodang Song increased China’s medal count by taking two gold medals and breaking two Games records. The Paralympic bronze medallist from London won the men’s 100m butterfly S8 and the 200m individual medley SM8.
Song’s compatriot Paralympic medallist Guizhi Li impressed in the women’s S11 class, finishing on top of the podium in the 50m and 100m freestyle.
China’s Shiyun Pan finished first in the men’s 200m individual medley SM7 and the 400m freestyle S7, while his compatriots Yinan Wang and Yajing Huang won gold in the men’s and women’s 400m S8 respectively.
The Chinese team claimed four more gold medals on the first two days of competition with Meng Zhang winning the women’s 100m freestyle S10 in a new Asian and Games record time of 01:04.19.
Lingling Song won the women’s 100m breaststroke SB5 while Yongjia Cui claimed gold in the men’s 100m butterfly S9. The final gold medal for China came in the men’s 4x50m medley relay 20 points with Chao Zhang, Zhipeng Jin, Tao Zheng and Qing Xu beating hosts South Korea in the final.
The South Korean team claimed a total of four gold medals on Sunday and Monday.
Gi-Seong Jo won the first swimming gold medal for the host country in the men’s 200m freestyle S4. An hour later Yae Ram Pak took gold in the women’s 200m freestyle S14, before Woogeun Lim finished first in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB5.
On Monday, Byeongeon Min added gold medal number four to the South Korean medal tally winning the men’s 50m backstroke SB4.
Japan also had successful two days in the pool. Adding to the impressive performances of Yamada, Kimura and Oyama, Japanese para-swimmers won five more gold medals, four of them in breaststroke events.
Paralympic champion and world record holder Yasuhiro Tanaka dominated his favourite event, the men’s 100m breaststroke SB14, taking gold comfortably in a time of 01:07.01.
Remi Watanabe broke the Asian record in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB14 to top the podium in a time of 01:32.95.
Paralympic silver medallist Tomotaro Nakamura finished first in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB7, while Jumpei Kimura won the men’s 100m breaststroke SB6. Airi Ike took gold in the women’s 50m freestyle S10.
Iran had a double podium finish in the men’s 400m freestyle S13 with Vahid Keshtkar finishing first in a new Asian record time of 05:06.07.
His compatriot Mohammadhossein Karimi Jahan Abadi took silver ahead of Thailand’s Sutat Sawattarn.
Hong Kong’s Wai Lok Tang broke an Asian record in the men’s 200m freestyle S14 in a time of 01:59.13.
Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan claimed one gold medal each. Hsiao-Hung Luo won the women’s 100m breaststroke SB4 and Anuar Akhmetov took gold in the men’s 100m backstroke S12 respectively.
The 2014 Asian Para Games opened on Saturday 18 October and will run through to Friday 24 October. Athletes from 41 countries will compete in 23 sports.