Yoshihide Kiryu and Yuki Koike, two of Japan's top sprinters, failed to reach the men's 100-meter final at the Asian Games on Saturday, the second day for athletics.
Later in the eight-man 100 final, China's Xie Zhenye stormed to the gold medal in 9.97 seconds, 0.05 ahead of Thai runner-up Puripol Boonson. Malaysia's Muhammad Azeem bin Mohd Fahmi rounded out the podium an additional 0.09 back.
"I've waited for this gold since my first Asian Games at Incheon 2014," the 30-year-old Xie said. "Heaven rewards those who wait."
"I've doubted myself before. But today, I've shown everyone that I've never given up, I always kept working hard."
In the semifinal round, Kiryu was fourth in 10.23 seconds in Heat 1, while Koike was fifth in 10.22 in Heat 3. Koike and Kiryu finished 10th and 11th overall at Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.
Kiryu did not have high expectations for himself as he just returned to competition earlier this month from a muscle tear in the back of his left thigh.
"I kept calm and raced until the end," Kiryu said. "I tried to increase my top speed from the first round. I just need to keep training without getting injured."
Koike revealed that he stumbled at the start and it was too hard to make up ground.
Host China also celebrated a women's 100-meter victory by Ge Manqi in 11.23.
Japan's best result of the day came from national record holder Kentaro Sato, who earned the men's 400-meter silver in 45.57 seconds, 0.02 behind Saudi Arabia's Yousef Ahmed Masrahi.
The women's 400 was won by Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekoya of Bahrain.
China's Wang Qi won the men's hammer with a throw of 72.97 meters, while Bahrain's Birhanu Yemataw Balew claimed the men's 10,000 gold in 28 minutes, 13.62 seconds.
Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines took the men's pole vault, clearing a height of 5.90 meters.