INCHEON, South Korea, Sept 20 (Reuters) - China's seemingly inevitable march to the top of Asian Games medal standings got off to a quick start on Saturday as they claimed two early golds on the first day of competition.
Less than 24 hours after a vibrant opening ceremony marked the launch of the 17th Asiad in South Korea, Zhang Mengyuan won the 10 metres air pistol individual event and helped China win the team event.
Some 10,000 athletes from 45 countries are competing at the Asian Games, the world's second-biggest multi-sport event after the summer Olympics. A total of 439 gold medals in 36 sports are up for grabs over 15 days of competition.
Later on Saturday, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) will announce the host of the next Asian Games, and also confirm which year it is to be held.
OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has told Reuters that an agreement is in place for Indonesia to stage the event, and that it is likely to take place in 2018, not 2019 as planned, to avoid clashing with a presidential election in the country.Hanoi was awarded the right to stage the Games in November 2012 ahead of the Indonesian city of Surabaya but the Vietnamese capital stood down as hosts in April fearing the event would not be financially viable.
The OCA will formally ratify its decision to install Jakarta as host at its general assembly later in the day. 'MY DREAM' There was also success for South Korea's athletes on Saturday as Lee Ha-sung picked up the hosts' first gold in the men's wushu changquan.
His coach, Park Chan-dae, said Lee had accomplished something he never could.
“He has achieved my dream for me,” said Park. “Although I won gold six times in the Wushu World Championships, I only got a silver medal at the Asian Games.” Park said Lee's mental focus set him apart from the rest.
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