China wins record of seven golds at Winter Universiade
Updated: 2009-02-23 09:50

HARBIN -- Host China savored a day of harvest when its athletes have won a record of seven gold medals after four-day finals at the ongoing Harbin Winter Universiade here on Sunday.

China's Li Ni'na (C), Cheng Shuang (R) and Dai Shuangfei react after the women's Aerials Individual competition in the 24th World Winter Universiade at the Yabuli Ski Resort 195km southeast away from Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Feb. 22, 2009. Li Ni'na won the title of the event while Cheng Shuang and Dai Shuangfei ranked 2nd and 3rd. [Xinhua]

The host athletes took home four of the seven gold medals on offer on the day when Alpine skiing, Nordic combined and cross-country events were postponed due to bad weather.

Full Coverage:
 24th Winter Universiade

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Xu Min, a native of Harbin, collected 179.96 points to award China its seventh title from the men's singles figure skating at the Universiade, bettering its previous most of six gold medals achieved in the 21st Universiade.

Russian Artern Borodulin got the silver in 179.37 and French Alban Preaubert settled for the bronze in 175.34.

Earlier, overwhelming favorites Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, also natives of Harbin, danced to their third straight victory in the pairs at the Universiade, winning the first figure skating gold of the Universiade for the hosts.

The Winter Olympic silver medalists posted an overall winning total of 195.32 points, leaving Russian Ksenia Ozerova and Alexander Enbert a distant second at 146.10. Another Chinese pair Dong Huibo and Wu Yiming took the bronze with 143.63.

In the free skating, the Chinese aces opened with a double axel and triple toeloop to the Yangtze River Piano Concerto, followed by a full array of dazzling throws and lifts that wowed the fans and the judges at Harbin International Convention Center in northeast China.

It is the third consecutive victory for the Zhangs in the biennial sports gala since 2005, also the first out of the figure skating competitions in Harbin slated for February 21-24.

In Yabuli, some 200 kilometers away from Harbin, Chinese Olympic silver medallist Li Ni'na came from behind to beat teammate Cheng Shuang for the victory in the women's freestyle skiing aerials.

Trailing Cheng by 1.41 points after the first round, Li well landed her second jump to collect a winning total of 191.407 points, Cheng settled for the silver with 188.325 while Dai Shuangfei was a distant third on 168.740.

Five athletes took part in the women's aerials with Maria Shcherbina of Belarus the only non-Chinese.  She fell on her second jump, finished at bottom with 96.308.

In Harbin, the speed skating track was again conquered by Asian powers as China's Yu Jing and Zhang Shuang beat South Korea's super talent Lee Sang Hwa to finish 1-2 in women's 100 meters, while Mo Tae Bum of South Korea was crowned in the men's 1,500 meters to deny a European dominance.

The host' victory in the women's 100m, not a discipline in the Winter Olympic Games, marked the first sprint win for China since the long track speed skating competitions started last Thursday, but also the second gold  of the Chinese team after Fu Chunyan lifted the women's 3,000m trophy on Saturday.

Yu Jing clocked 10.29 seconds for the crown as her compatriot Zhang Shuang placed the second on 10.57, beating South Korea's Lee, winner of the Universiade's first gold medal in the women's 500m, to third on a distant 10.82.

On the men's part, the 20-year-old Mo timed one minute and 48.25 seconds for the title while Konrad Niedzwiedzki of Poland was beaten to the second in 1:48.35 and Russia's Alexey Esin settled for a bronze medal.

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