The quadrennial multi-sport event East Asian Games started on Monday, in China – the northern port of Tianjin. The host country won so far most of the awards, taking eight of the first 17 gold medals. Japan was in second place, with three golds, one silver and five bronzes, just ahead of Taiwan on three golds and three bronzes.
Chinese athletes took gold in two shooting disciplines, two women’s taekwondo contests, two diving categories, one weightlifting division, and the men’s hammer. Later on Monday, China took as well seven silver and six bronze medals.
20-year-old Japanese distance runner Riko Matsuzaki took the first gold to be awarded for winning the women’s 5,000m race in 16 minutes 9.72 seconds.
The participating countries at the East Asian Games competition are China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Guam.
The athletes compete in 24 different sports (16 of them being Olympic sports) and the East Asian Games have this year more than 2,400 participants, the international press reports.
The competition will be transformed into a youth games for athletes aged 14 to 18, so this edition of the East Asian Games is the last one to be held in their current form, according to Xinhua agency. The competition will end on October 15 with a closing ceremony.