Olympic and world champions Shixiao Xu and Mengya Sun led a Chinese assault on the canoe sprint medal table on the first day of finals at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Xu and Sun, unbeaten in women’s C2 500 since taking gold at the Tokyo Olympics, were part of a host nation charge that saw China take four of the six gold medals on offer during Monday’s competition.

Xu and Sun finished more than six seconds ahead of crews from Kazakhstan and Thailand, underlining once again they will be the crew to beat at next year’s Paris Olympics.

Mengdie Yin and Nan Wang ensured a clean sweep for the Chinese women by taking gold in the K2 500, with Kazakhstan again finishing second, and Uzbekistan third.

Dong Zhang, who finished sixth in the men’s K1 1000 at the Tokyo Olympics, took gold for China in the same event on Monday. He was more than three seconds clear of Uzbekistan’s Shakhriyor Makhkamov and Kazakhstan’s Kirill Tubayev.

China’s fourth gold medal came in the men’s K2 500, with Tingkai Bu and Congkang Wang just holding out crews from South Korea and Iran.

Taipei’s Kuan-Cgieh Lai, who celebrated making the men’s C1 1000 final at the ICF world cup in Poznan earlier this year, took out the gold ahead of Uzbekistan’s Vladlen Denisov and Kazakhstan’s Timofey Yemelyanov.

There was a gold medal for Kazakhstan in the men’s C2 500, with Sergey Yemelyanov and Timur Khaidarov getting the better of crews from Iran and Uzbekistan in one of the closest finals of the day. Just 0.12 of a second split the first two boats.

The 19th Asian Games continues in Hangzhou on Tuesday with more canoe sprint medals up for grabs. Official event results can be found here.

2021 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup Barnaul Dong ZHANG

Canoe Sprint