JAKARTA — Sun Peiyuan won the first gold medal awarded at the 18th Asian Games with an acrobatic victory in wushu’s changquan discipline ahead of local hope Edgar Marvelo.
The changquan competition started at 9am local time Sunday and was all over within an hour, with Sun scoring 9.75 to claim a gold medal in the same city where he won the world title in 2015.
Marvelo, who was inspired to take up wushu after watching movies starring Jet Li, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, gave host country Indonesia a silver at 9.72 and Tsai Tse-min of Taiwan picked up bronze.
Wushu, a Chinese martial art that was introduced to the Asian Games program in 1990 and translates to “long fist,” has been something of a gold mine for China at the regional games.
“I knew if I perform well I can win the gold. So the pressure from the Indonesian athlete was mainly due to him competing in his home ground,” Sun said. “I wanted to thank everybody for the support. I am glad that I didn’t let you down.”
Lee Ha-sung, who won the event in 2014 to give South Korea the first gold medal at Incheon, finished a distant 12th.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang began his quest for five swimming titles in Jakarta by posted the fastest time in the heats of 200-meter freestyle in 1 minute, 47.58 seconds. Khader Baqlah of Jordan was 0.02 seconds behind.
Sun, the Olympic champion, is aiming to upgrade the two silvers he has taken in the 200 in the previous two editions of the Asian Games.
Japan star Ryosuke Irie is aiming for a third straight Asian Games gold in the 100-meter backstroke, and began by posting the second-fastest time in the morning heats in 53.85 seconds, 0.25 behind China’s Xu Jiayu.
There are seven finals on the opening night of the swimming program. Medals are also on offer Sunday in fencing, shooting, taekwondo and wrestling as competition.