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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

South Korea Powers Into Golds Column

HIROSHIMA, Japan -- South Korea burst into the Asian Games gold medals standings Wednesday with three wrestling triumphs and victories in swimming, fencing and bowling.

Its bowling winner missed a perfect game by one pin.

China padded its medals lead slightly, but its eight golds for the day were only slightly ahead of South Korea's six and Japan's five. It completed a clean sweep of the nine women's weightlifting divisions, but slowed its world record-breaking pace.

That left it with a total of 28 gold medals to 13 for Japan. South Korea, shut out for the first two full days of games' competition, is trying to overtake the Japanese and repeat its No. 2 finish of the last games in 1990.

Taiwan won its first Asian Games gold in 24 years, also in bowling, and games newcomer Kazakhstan picked up its first two golds, in wrestling.

The Chinese also added the men's and women's all-round gymnastics titles to the team victories they had won earlier, and won three of the day's five swimming races, all in games or Asian record times.

In bowling, South Korea's Kim Sook-young rolled a near-perfect 299 in the fifth of her six games as she took gold with 1,347 pins, smashing the games record of 1,270 set in 1978. Silver medalist Noriko Inauchi of Japan was 121 pins behind in second place.

In the men's singles earlier, Taiwan's Lin Han-chen took the title and set a games record of 1,310, breaking the 8-year-old mark of 1,280. Hendro Pratono of Indonesia was second with 1,292.

Taiwan had returned to the games in 1990 after being kept out for 20 years in a dispute with China. Both sides claim to be China's sole legitimate government, but Taiwan was allowed back in after agreeing to compete under the name Chinese Taipei.

In the pool, meanwhile, South Korea's Ji Sang-joon broke the monopoly on gold by China and Japan as he won the men's 200-meter backstroke in 2 minutes, 0.65 seconds, breaking the 4-year-old games record of 2:03.59. Japan's Hajime Itoi was second in 2:01.34.

Japan won its second swimming gold of the games when Yukihiro Matsushita edged Kazakhstan's Serguei Borissenko and Alexei Egorov in the men's 100-meter freestyle.

But the Chinese women have yet to lose a swimming race. They boosted China's total to 11 in 14 events as He Cihong beat teammate Lu Bin in the 100-meter backstroke, Zhou Guanbin outswam teammate Yang Aihua in the 400-meter freestyle and China left Japan more than three seconds behind in the 400-meter freestyle relay.

He's 1:00.71 broke the 4-year-old games record of 1:03.31, Zhou broke the Asian record of 4:09.22 by winning in 4:08.40, and the relay quartet's 3:43.35 knocked down a 1990 mark of 3:46.39.

China also looked set for a sweep of all four diving golds. For the last two events, world champion Tan Shuping and Fu Mingxia led qualifying for the women's 3-meter springboard event, while 1992 Olympic champion Sun Shuwei and Xiao Hailiang were the top qualifiers in men's platform diving.

The Chinese yielded only one medal -- a bronze to Japan -- in the men's and women's individual all-round gymnastics. Qiao Ya, Yuan Kexia and Mo Huilan were 1-2-3 for the women. Li Xiaoshuang and Huang Liping finished ahead of Japan's Yoshiaki Hatakeda in the men's event.