Vietnamese women row to first Asian Games gold

Palembang (Indonesia) (AFP) –


An overjoyed Vietnamese women's rowing team paddled into first place Thursday to take their country's only gold of the Asian Games so far, as China racked up six wins on the Palembang lake.

Vietnam's lightweight women's quadruple sculls claimed gold in the final race of the penultimate day of rowing events, held in the co-host city of Asia's regional Olympics.

"We're very proud and honoured because we brought victory to our country," Ta Thanh Huyen said with a beaming smile on her face. "I never thought I could win a gold medal in a tournament like this."

Iran took the silver in the same event -- its best-ever result in women's rowing -- but one of the team, Nazanin Rahmani, could barely stand to receive her medal after coming down sick after the race and was carted off on a stretcher shortly after the ceremony.

China rowed to victory in six out of eight medal races on Thursday.

The Asian Games giant won the men's and women's single sculls and pair races, the women's double sculls and the lightweight men's four.

Uzbekistan came away with three medals, including a gold in the men's double sculls.

There was no medal joy for the first of three finals for the Unified Korea team who paddled in last of six in the lightweight men's four.

The team combining both North and South Korean athletes only had a few weeks to train together before the Indonesia-hosted Games.

They have two more medal chances Friday in the lightweight women's double sculls and the lightweight men's eight.