Asian Games: Hosts S Korea set medal pace

Asian Games: Hosts S Korea set medal pace
North Korea's Kim Sol Mi (R) and South Korea's Jeong Bok-yeong stand on the bronze medal podium after both placing third in the women's -48kg judo competition during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 20, 2014.

INCHEON, South Korea - Hosts South Korea were the Asian Games' surprise first-day medal leaders on Saturday but they had to share the limelight with China and record-breaking North Korea.

South Korea won titles in cycling, fencing, equestrian and wushu to narrowly top the medals table ahead of China as the Olympic-size event rolled into action in Incheon.

They got off to a rocky start when China, led by the unheralded Zhang Menyuang, beat them to the Games' first gold in the women's 10 metre air pistol.

North Korea's Om Yun-Chol set the first world record of the Games when he beat his own clean and jerk best with 170kg in the 56kg class.

But victory in the men's team sprint and men's epee late in the day took South Korea to five golds, ahead of China on overall medals won.

Saturday was the start of 15 days of competition involving 9,500 athletes from 45 nations, and with 439 gold medals on offer across 36 different sports.

China, who won a record 199 gold medals at the 2010 Games, led the table for most of the day before being caught by South Korea.

Army sharpshooter Jitu Rai held his nerve on the final shot to snatch 50m pistol gold from Vietnam's Nguyen Hoang Phuong and put India amongst the golds.

And China's Zhong Tianshi rode to victory in the women's team sprint, a day before she challenges Hong Kong's Olympic medal-winner Sarah Lee Wai-sze in the keirin.

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