Yang Shuyu (L) of China competes during the women's 3x3 basketball semifinal between the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team and China in Tokyo, Japan, July 28, 2021.(Photo/Xinhua)
After years of waiting for a team sports medal in Olympic basketball, the Chinese Women's 3X3 Basketball Team delivered a bronze medal to those dreamers on Wednesday, defeating France 16-14 at Japan's Aomi Urban Sports Park.
Winning a medal at the Olympic debut of basketball's half-court version at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Wang Lili of Team China couldn't hide her excitement at being able to hold off France's last-second attempt to tie the game.
"The game was very tough. It was up and down the whole game, but we managed to be on top in the end," Wang said. "We're very excited, because we've won the bronze medal the first time that 3x3 basketball has been in the Olympics. It's more than we expected."
The last time China won an Olympic medal in basketball was at the 1992 Barcelona Games, when the women's squad finished runner-up in the game's ordinary 5-a-side version.
Besides the good news from the basketball court, Team China also gained No 2 position in the medal tally on Wednesday as it clinched three golds in a row and broke the world record in women's quadruple sculls.
After the fifth day of the Games, China had earned a total of 12 golds, six silvers and nine bronzes. Japan continued to lead the table with 13 gold, four silver and five bronze medals. The United States was in third place with 11 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals.
Chinese rowers celebrate after winning the women's quadruple sculls final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan on Wednesday. [PHOTO/XINHUA]
Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi, even with an uncharacteristic error on their fifth dive, led all the way in winning the men's 3-meter synchronized springboard with 467.82 points, earning the Chinese diving team its third gold medal at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.
Wang and Xie hugged each other after they reclaimed the gold medal in the only diving event that China didn't win five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.
"We were really feeling relieved,"19-year-old Wang said after winning the competition. "Three hours ago, I was an unknown athlete. Now I can say I'm a winner of the Olympics."
Xie explained the team's advantage by saying they helped each other endure a long training process.
"During training, we go from the dormitories to the training center, we go to eat, we go back to the training center, then we go to sleep," Xie said. "Every day we do the same thing, so we have to boost each other."
In the women's quadruple sculls event, Lyu Yang, Zhang Ling, Cui Xiaotong and Chen Yunxia wrapped up a record-setting first day of rowing finals by finishing in 6 minutes 0.13 second, shaving nearly two seconds off the previous mark set by the Netherlands in 2014.
Meanwhile, weightlifter Shi Zhiyong claimed gold in the men's 73-kilogram weightlifting with 364kg in total.
Representing China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Siobhan Bernadette Haughey, 23, got a silver medal in the women's 200m freestyle event on Wednesday – the SAR's first-ever swimming medal in Olympics history.
"I always was so close to making the podium," she said. "To now finally be able to (win a) medal means so much."