GUANGZHOU - It was an exciting night at Guangzhou Asiad swimming events as several world best results were made here on Sunday.
Famous South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan broke the Asian record to claim the men's 200-meter freestyle gold medal.
Park, Beijing Olympic champion in the 400m freestyle, led throughout the race to clock one minute and 44.80 seconds, breaking his own Asian record of 1:44.85. It was also the world best result of the event this year.
Chinese teenager swimmer Sun Yang finished second in 1:46.25, while Japanese Takeshi Matsuda took the bronze in 1:47.73. Hosts' favorite Zhang Lin, world champion of the 800m freestyle in Rome 2009, finished fourth in 1:48.10.
"I am very happy," said 21-year-old Park. "It's good to get a record. I didn't have a good time coming into the race, so I thought I would fall behind."
"I was nervous at the beginning of the race, but I told myself to relax and to do my best," said Park, winner of the event as well as 400m and 1500m freestyle at Doha Asian Games. "The Asian Games just began. I hope I can also claim good result in 400m freestyle."
Sun, 19, said he was satisfied with his performance. "It's my personal best. It was very tough to compete with so many good swimmers. But I did a good job. I'm very happy with the result."
Another Asian record broken Sunday was the women's 200m backstroke. Chinese Zhao Jing, world champion of the women's 50m backstroke at 2009 Rome Worlds, set a new Asian record to win the event.
Zhao trailed Japan's swimming star Shiho Sakai in the first 150m, but overtook her in the last 30m to lift the title.
Zhao touched the wall in two minutes and 6.46 seconds, which broke the Asian record of 2:07.13 set by Japan's Reiko Nakamura at Beijing Olympic Games. It was also the world best result of the event in 2010.
Sakai took the silver in 2:07.81, while the bronze went to her teammate Aya Terakawa who clocked 2:09.72.
"I am so happy with the result, which is my personal best," said Zhao. "It's wonderful to break the Asian record, and I didn't expect it before the race."
Zhao also broke the women's 100m backstroke Asian record on Saturday in the women's 4x100m medley relay by 58.94. It was the first sub-59 second 100m backstroke ever seen in a textile suit.
Chinese 14-year-old swimmer Ye Shiwen achieved a world second best result in women's 400m individual medley when she won the event in 4:33.79.
Asian record holder of the event Li Xuanxu of China took the silver in 4:38.05, while Cheng Wanjung of Chinese Taipei finished third in 4:41.55.
Hosts China were the biggest winner tonight as they also collected gold medals from the men's 50m breaststroke, men's 100m butterfly, and the women's 4x100m freestyle relay.
Xie Zhi, 23, outplaced Japanese Ryo Tateishi to lift the men's 50m breaststroke title in 27.80, while Tateishi took the silver in 27.86. Chinese Li Xiayan finished third in 27.89.
Four-time Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima only managed a fourth finish by clocking 28.15.
In men's 100m butterfly, veteran swimmer Zhou Jiawei led the race to win in 51.83, beating Takuro Fujii, bronze medallist of the event at Pan Pacific championships in August, by 0.02 second.
Chinese butterfly specialist Wu Peng took the bronze in 52.72.
The Women's 4x100m freestyle relay was the hosts' favorite as they led throughout the race to clock in 3:36.88. Japan took the silver in 3:37.90, while Chinese Hong Kong finished third in 3:43.17.
Monday will saw Chinese female swimmers competing gold in 50m backstroke, 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly.
In men's events, Japanese Kitajima will take part in his favorite 100m breaststroke, and South Korean Park will meet Zhang Lin again in the 4x200m freestyle relay. Men's 50m freestyle and 200m backstroke will also take place on Monday.