Zhou Zeqi (right) flashes a high kick during a taekwondo bout at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Sept 25. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]
Athletes Zhou Zeqi and Mao Jiasi from North China's Shanxi province showed their mettle at the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, with second-to-none performances.
During the final of the mixed gender team event on Sept 25, Zhou helped her three teammates to clinch the gold medal for China.
It was the first gold pocketed by Shanxi athletes at this edition of the Asian Games.
Born in 1999, Zhou hails from the provincial capital Taiyuan. She joined the Shanxi taekwondo team in 2016 and was selected for the national team in 2017.
She was part of the bronze-medal-winning women's team at the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships in Manchester, England, and finished runner-up in the individual +73kg weight class at the 2022 Asian Championships in South Korea.
She also swept gold in both the individual and team events at the latest World University Games in Chengdu.
"Zhou Zeqi's height and long legs make her suitable for long-distance attacks, and her ability to swing high gives her a scoring advantage," said Ren Qiang, coach of Shanxi's taekwondo team.
On Sept 28, Zhou will compete for glory in the women's +67kg event.
Mao Jiasi competes in the women's park skateboarding final on Sept 25. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Mao Jiasi, another rising star from Changzhi city in Shanxi, brought home a bronze medal for the Chinese delegation in the women's park skateboarding final on the same day.
This marked the first medal won by Shanxi athletes at the ongoing Asian Games.
Regarding Mao's performance, Cheng Xinzhu, coach of the skateboarding team from the Shanxi Cycling, Fencing, and Ball Sports Center, said that despite some early mistakes, Mao was able to adjust her mindset and round off her performance with some exceptional moves – no mean feat for a young athlete participating in the Asian Games for the first time.
Mao was selected for training by the Shanxi skateboarding team in 2018. At the age of 11, she won second place in the women's park skateboarding event at the National Skateboarding Championships, becoming the first Chinese skateboarder to perform a 360-degree aerial rotation.
She also represented China at the qualifying tournaments for the 2024 Paris Olympics in February.