INCHEON (AFP) – Japan’s Kosuke Hagino followed his shock 200 metres freestyle gold by adding titles in the 200m individual medley and the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay at the Asian Games on Monday.
After stunning heavyweights Sun Yang and Park Tae-Hwan on the opening day of swimming, Hagino pulverised the opposition to win the 200m medley in an Asian record of one minute, 55.34 seconds.
Hagino, 20, who scored a pulsating victory over Michael Phelps at last month’s Pan Pacific championships, won by more than three seconds from Japanese team-mate Hiromasa Fujimori at the Incheon arena named after South Korean star Park.
He swam the second leg as Japan won the 4x200m freestyle relay in a new Games record of 7:06.74 — almost 10 seconds clear of a China quartet missing Sun, who hurt his thumb in Sunday’s 200m final.
Japan finished the second day of competition in the pool with a 7-5 lead in gold medals over powerhouse China.
Hagino faces China’s reigning Olympic champion Sun and 2008 Olympic gold medallist Park again in Tuesday’s 400m freestyle.
Kanako Watanabe became Japan’s first female Asian Games swimming champion since 2006 by winning the 200m breaststroke in a meet record time of 2:21.82, touching out countrywoman Rie Kaneto, who clocked 2:21.92.
China’s Shi Jinglin took bronze in 2:23.58 behind the Japanese pair, who finished in the same one-two order at the Pan Pacific meeting in Gold Coast.
An explosive start helped Japan’s Junya Koga retain the men’s 50m backstroke title in a new Games record of 24.28, edging out compatriot Ryosuke Irie (24.98), who had already captured the 100m title, and China’s Xu Jiayu (25.24).
Junior world record-holder Shen Duo won the women’s 100m freestyle for China in 54.37, short of the junior mark of 53.84 she posted at the recent Youth Olympics.
Team-mate and defending champion Tang Yi took silver in 54.45 with Japan’s Miki Uchida third in 54.66.