Rikako Ikee wrote a new chapter in the pool Friday, winning a record sixth gold medal of the 2018 Asian Games, as Yukiko Ueno pitched the Japanese softball team to some history of its own.
With the men's lightweight double sculls pairing of Masayuki Miyaura and Masahiro Takeda chipping in a gold, Japan maintained its second place on the medal table, well behind China but still holding a six-gold buffer over South Korea.
Ikee's sixth gold of the games in Jakarta and Palembang on Friday, in the women's 50-meter freestyle, meant she became the most successful female athlete at any one edition of Asia's premier multisport event.
"My parents and my coaches and so many people were here to watch, and when I saw their faces, I felt so relieved and I began to tear up," said Ikee, whose eight total medals in Indonesia is also the most by any woman at an Asian Games.
"From two or three days ago my body was worn out, it seemed like my willpower was about to break, but today from the qualifiers I was very relaxed," she said.
Rowers Miyaura and Takeda brought the day's first gold, winning the men's lightweight double sculls.
The crew said they felt their win had an air of inevitability.
"We were overtaken by South Korea in the middle (of the race), but I just had a sense that I couldn't lose. I think that state of mind may have been good," Miyaura said.
Yukiko Ueno pitched Japan to its fifth straight softball gold medal in Jakarta, a 7-0 mercy-rule victory over Taiwan.
"I'm very happy to have achieved this (five straight golds)," said Ueno. "Compared to previous tournaments, we were able to score a lot of runs, so we had a lot of easy games."
Japan dominated, scoring three runs in the first and four in the second, as Taiwan's hitters could not land a blow on Ueno. The win gave Ueno her record fifth Asian Games gold medal.
"The manager has brought in a lot of young players. And I hope everyone tries to stake out a spot and learn from their mistakes as we move forward," the ace pitcher said.
Eri Yonamine narrowly missed out on road cycling gold after finishing just 0.16 second behind defending champion Na Ah Reum of South Korea in the women's 20-km individual time trial. Yonamine's medal is her second of the games, adding to her bronze from the women's road race.
In men's road cycling, Fumiyuki Beppu added to his road race silver with a bronze in the 40-km time trial.
Japan won two bronze medals in gymnastics, Shiho Nakaji finishing third in the women's floor apparatus and Kenta Chiba getting the same result in the parallel bars.
In fencing, the women's epee team and men's foil team both earned bronze medals following semifinal defeats against South Korea and Hong Kong, respectively.
There was more bronze from the unlikely source of sepak takraw with Japan's nine-man team doubles squad losing to Thailand in its semifinal, but securing third place.
Erina Hayashi and Kaito Uesugi lost their tennis mixed doubles semifinal in straight sets to an Indonesian duo and take home bronze, as will the women's doubles team of Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya who also went down in straight sets in their semifinal.
Japan's men's and women's golfers are in good shape heading into their third rounds.
Keita Nakajima maintained a one-stroke lead on the second day of the men's tournament, his second straight 68 giving him an 8-under total going into the third round.
Nakajima and Takumi Kanaya's combined performances have Japan six strokes in front of India in the team competition.
In the women's tournament, day one leader Ayaka Furue fell to second at 7-under, two strokes off the pace, while Japan holds silver medal position in the team event at 10-under, five shots behind China.
The men's soccer team advanced from their round of 16 meeting with Malaysia, an 88th-minute penalty for Ayase Ueda proving the difference. Japan plays Saudi Arabia in the quarterfinals on Monday.
Japan's men's handball team went down 24-17 to Asia powerhouse Qatar in its final group game but still managed to advance to Monday's semifinals where it will meet Bahrain.
In men's hockey, Japan took a heavy 8-0 loss to Pool A leaders India and fell to second in the group. But, if it can win its final two matches against winless Hong Kong and unbeaten South Korea, a semifinal berth is all but guaranteed.