SEOUL, South Korea — Japan, which started slowly in opening competition of the Asian Games, gained momentum and won all five swimming races Monday, breaking records in four of them.
Defending champion China finished the third day of competition with 12 gold medals overall to Japan's 8, while host South Korea won its first 4 gold medals with record-breaking performances on the shooting range.
India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore trailed the top three, but none of them has managed to win a gold in this 16-day, 27-nation event.
The 10th Asiad is viewed as a preparation for the 1988 Olympics, for which South Korea will be host.
Worried about terrorist attacks and anti-government activity, the South Koreans have taken what sports observers say are some of the toughest security measures ever at an international contest. At the pool Monday, German shepherd dogs sniffed the starting blocks before final races began.
In swimming, the Japanese 800-meter freestyle relay team won by more than 13 seconds over China, setting an Asian Games record of 7:36.07.
Hiroshi Miura of Japan bettered the old Games mark of 57.27 in the men's 100-meter butterfly with a clocking of 54.64.
Another Japanese, Chikako Nakamori, won the women's 200-meter freestyle in 2:05.21, beating the old Games mark of 2:06.12.
Japan set another record in the men's 400-meter individual medley. Naritoshi Matsuda lowered the Games mark by almost 12 seconds with a 4:27.99 clocking.
Hiroko Nagasaki had an easy time winning the women's 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.01, but she was the only Japanese winner who did not break a record.
South Korea dominated the rifle shooting, winning the women's team air rifle, individual air rifle, men's team small-bore rifle and the individual small-bore rifle. The South Koreans shattered existing Asian marks in all four events but had to settle for second place to the Japanese in the trap clay target team event.
The Chinese won both diving and weightlifting events. Tan Liangde took the gold in the men's springboard with 678.24 points, and He Yingqiang won the 56-kilogram class with a lift of 265 kilograms.
In basketball, favored South Korea edged Jordan, 96-94.