JAKARTA, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Three-time Olympic champion Sun Yang claimed victory in the men's 200m freestyle in his third Asiad to help China swimming enjoy a 4-3 lead on the gold medal tally against arch-rival Japan at the 18th Asian Games here on Sunday.
As the Olympic and world champion, as well as Asian record holder, Sun who had never won the event prior to the Jakarta Asiad, ruled the pool since 150m and clocked a time of one minute 45.43 seconds for the title.
"For eight years since Guangzhou 2010, I have been waiting for this gold medal in 200m at Asian Games. My dream comes true finally. I am very excited," said Sun, who ran to the stand and shook hands with his parents.
"I realize my dream and make a Golden Grand Slam in 200, 400, 1500 from the Asian Games, the World Championships and the Olympic Games. I feel honored and proud of myself," Sun said.
World champion Xu Jiayu celebrated his 23-year birthday with a gold medal from men's 100m backstroke in a Game record 52.34, beating the defending champion Irie Ryosuke of Japan 52.53. Lee Juho of South Korea took the bronze in 54.52.
"Today is my birthday and I am 23 years old. I am happy that I made up my regret by winning this event tonight. Four years ago, I was the runner-up behind Irie by a slice of finger. I hope I can wrap up the gold medals in all the backstroke events, including 50 and 200m," said Xu, who had three silver medals in Incheon Asian Games.
"It is the first time I celebrate my birthday at the pool and the first time Chinese fans sang the birthday song to me at the competition venue. That made me in tears. I planned to break the world record but it seems not the best time to achieve that. I am happy I have the Asian Games title at last," Xu said.
Wang Jianjiahe and Li Bingjie, both at 16, gave China a one-two finish in the women's 1,500m freestyle, as Wang touched the wall first with a Game record 15:53.68. Li, the world bronze medalist last year, surged back in the last 100m but had to concede to a silver by 0.12 seconds.
"I am not in my best shape but I am happy I can fight until the last meter of the race," Li said.
Liu Yaxin and 15-year-old Peng Xuwei of China jumped to the podium in the women's 200m backstroke, with Sakai Natsumi of Japan standing between them in 2:08.13. Liu scored her winning time of 2:07.65 and Peng placed third in 2:09.14.
Japan set a Game record in the women's 4X100m freestyle relay winning 3:36 52. China came to second in 3:36.78 and Hong Kong, China third 3:41.88.
Suzuki Satomi and Aoki Reona of Japan topped the women's 100m breaststroke in a Game record 1:06.40 and 1:06.45, while Seto Daiya and Horomura Nao had a one-two finish 1:54.53 and 1:55.58, respectively.
"Heats were a bit slow but that was a perfect swim for the final. I felt good but last 25m was a little hard work and got a little bit frantic but I'm happy to win. Hope I can get the 50m gold and a PB. I used to be quite nervous but I'm more confident, so feel in a good way for next year's worlds and 2020 Tokyo Olympics," Suzuki said.
A total of 41 swimming events are to be contested in the Jakarta Asian Games while China led 22-12 on the gold medal tally in Incheon four years ago.