Japan picked up its second and third swimming gold medals of the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Wednesday, with Katsuhiro Matsumoto winning the men's 100-meter butterfly and Reona Aoki winning the women's 100 breaststroke.
Japanese women's swim team captain Rikako Ikee, who is struggling with health issues, settled for fifth place in the 100 butterfly, won by China's Zhang Yufei.
Matsumoto won the 100 butterfly in 51.13 seconds, 0.11 ahead of Wang Changhao, after trailing the Chinese by 0.36 at the turn.
Kazakhstan's Adilbek Mussin placed third, in 51.86, at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre's Aquatic Sports Arena.
"This result is the payoff for the work I've done," Matsumoto said. "The pressure to win the gold was more than I ever expected. But the fact that I could win under pressure makes me happy."
"I won the gold medal, but the time is not competitive at the world level, so I have to raise my level."
Aoki clocked 1 minute, 6.81 seconds to win 100 breaststroke gold, edging compatriot Satomi Suzuki by 0.14. China's Yang Chang rounded out the podium in 1:07.01.
"Again, I couldn't swim my usual race, but I'm just trying my best," Ikee said. "I heard big cheers from the crowd in the second half of my race. I tried to think the cheers were for me and kept going."
In the day's other individual events, China's Wan Letian claimed the women's 100 backstroke gold, China's Yu Yiting won the women's 400 individual medley, and the men's 200 freestyle title went to South Korea's Hwang Sun Woo.
"It was really a tough battle out there," Yu said. "It was very close toward the end. I had nothing left in the tank when I touched the wall."
"I wanted to lead the race from the start. I'm not totally fit, and my waist injury felt worse today. I thought it was not a bad idea to give my rivals some pressure from the start."
China wrapped up the day's action in the pool with the mixed 4x100 medley relay victory in 3:37.73 for its fourth gold out of the seven on offer on Day 4 of the six-day swimming program.
China's winning time was just 0.15 off the world record Britain set during the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.