Cover Gold Medalists Qian Yang and Haoran Yang of Team China pose on the podium during the medal ceremony of the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event. (Photo: Getty Images)

From Hidilyn Diaz to Momiji Nishiya, here are all the Asian athletes winning gold medals for the first time

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics officially kicked off on July 23 and by now, the games are in full swing with multiple events happening from day to night as the world's top athletes compete at the world's biggest stage. Of course, at this point, the race to accumulate the most gold medals for each individual country is on.

See also: Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Inside the Olympic Games Athletes’ Village

As we slowly see more and more athletes rack up gold medals for their countries, we zoom in to take a look at the athletes competing at the Olympics who are earning individual pride as well as national.  

Keep reading to find out who the Asian Olympians are who have earned their very first Olympic gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

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The Philippines: Hidilyn Diaz

It was an extremely close call between Gen.T sports honouree Hidilyn Diaz and world champion Liao Qiuyun at the Olympics this week when at the final lift, Diaz finished with 127kg in the clean and jerk and 224kg total.

Her opponent finished just behind her with 126kg in the clean and jerk and 224kg total which earned Diaz her first Olympic gold medal and the first gold medal to be won by any Filipino athlete at the Olympic games. 

This is Diaz’s fourth Olympic Games after she represented her country at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and at London in 2012 when she was the nations’ flag-bearer for the opening ceremony.

See also: Hidilyn Diaz Wins the Philippines’ First-Ever Olympic Gold Medal For Weightlifting

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China: Yang Qian

Yang Qian made history on July 24 when she won the first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the women's 10m air rifle competition. 

It was a tight competition that saw Anastasiia Galashina leading the race until the final when she signed her lowest score of 8.9 for a total of 251.1.

Yang on the other hand fired 9.8 for an Olympic record of 251.8.

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China: Li Fabin

Li Fabin is pretty well-known for his “flamingo” lifting technique in which he raises one leg to get a better balance while lifting weights. 

Though the Internet has had a field day with how funny he looked, he has proven that he knows what he's doing. The 28-year-old managed to score his second Olympics gold medal for China after he made two new Olympic records in the men’s 61kg category.

He managed to score a total of 313kg to best his competitors, Eko Yui, who won silver and Igor Son, who took home bronze.

This is the second gold medal Li has won in weightlifting in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

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China: Chen Lijun

China's decorated weightlifter, Chen Lijun, was crowned the champion on July 25 when he clinched the gold medal at the men's 67-kilogram event. 

This is the third gold medal that the Chinese weightlifting team has scored in Tokyo and Chen's first gold Olympic medal in his athletic career. 

See also: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Meet the 23 Singapore Athletes Who Are Competing

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China: Hou Zhihui

24-year-old Hou Zhihui may be young but she has already added an Olympic gold medal to her list of achievements after she competed in the women’s 49kg weightlifting competition and set a new Olympic record twice by first lifting 92kg and then beating her own record with 94kg. She then lifted 116kg which was the best in the history of the Olympic Games so far. 

Hou's win is certainly a momentous occasion for the young athlete who had to miss the Rio Olympics in 2016 as a result of a knee injury. 

 

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China: Wang Han

Wang Han clinched her first Olympic gold medal during the women's 3m synchronised springboard event with her partner, Shi Tingmao on July 25. The pair earned 326.40 points together and beat out their opponents easily by 25.62 points.

This was a win for the history books because it was the first gold for the Chinese diving team at the Tokyo Olympics.

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China: Sun Yiwen

On July 24, Sun Yiwen rejoiced as she earned the gold Olympic medal at the Women's Individual Epee at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Sun is a three-time team Asia champion and a two-time world champion. She also participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, this is her first Olympic gold medal. 

Sun's win was also the third gold medal that China swept up in the Olympics. 

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Japan: Naohisa Takato

The stands might have been empty as a result of Covid-19 but it was certainly a proud moment when Naohisa Takato became the first Japanese athlete to win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics after winning the championship title in the men's -60 kg weight class.

The Judo star, who earned a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016, managed to defeat Yang Yung-wei in an exciting match.

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Japan: Hifumi Abe and Uta Abe

Abe Hifumi and Uta Abe are famous for being the golden siblings who dominate the world of Judo together and the world saw just how powerful the pair were when Uta won the women's 52-kilogram division shortly before her older brother won the men's 66-kg gold medal.

With their wins, Uta became the first Japanese gold medalist in her division as well as its youngest-ever champion. Hifumi on the other hand is the first Japanese judoka to win his class since Masato Uchishiba did at the 2008 Beijing Games.

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Japan: Yuto Horigome

Yuto Horigome claimed the first Olympic gold medal in skateboarding after performing a series of high-scoring tricks in the the finale of the men's street skating competition.

This is the first year that skateboarding has been included in the Olympics which marks a turning point for the sport which is usually associated with youth street culture.

See also: Tokyo Olympics 2020: 32 Female Asian Athletes You Should Know

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Japan: Momiji Nishiya

Momiji Nishiya made history this week as Japan’s youngest gold medallist and the first-ever women’s skateboarding gold medalist when the 13-year-old clinched the medal at the women's skateboarding event at the Olympics.

She managed to defeat Rayssa Leal and Funa Nakayama to earn a whopping score of 15.26 and to carve her name in the history books. 

“I welled up in tears because I was beyond happy,” said the young Olympian when describing what she felt when she found out that she had won.

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Japan: Yui Ohashi

Yui Ohashi conquered the women’s 400m medley on July 25 when she beat out her competitors to win the gold Olympic medal. 

Ohashi's win was made even more special because she managed to beat Hungary's Katinka Hosszu—a world-record holder who has dominated the event for the past eight years.

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Japan: Mizutani Jun and Ito Mima

On July 26, Jun Mizutani and Ito Mima Ito made history after the mixed doubles pair stunned the world by beating China's world champions, Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen with a score of 4-3 to win both of their first Olympic Gold medals.

“China has beaten us so many times at the Olympics and at the World Championships. I think we were able to avenge all those losses here at the Tokyo Games. I’m really happy,” Mizutani said of the win.

See also: 13 Year-Old Japanese Skater Momiji Nishiya Just Made Olympic History

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South Korea: Chaeyoung Kang, Minhee Jang and An San

South Korea has taken the lead in the archery category for many years with nine straight gold Olympic medals to their name so it was no surprise when Chaeyoung Kang, Minhee Jang and An San all claimed their personal first gold medals at the women's team archery event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics together.

The group of three women beat the Russian Olympic Committee team with a score of 6-0.

An San then went on to win her second gold medal at the first-ever archery mixed team event. 

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South Korea: Kim Je-deok

It has been five years since Kim Je-deok won three gold medals at the 45th National Junior Sports Festival.

Over the years, Kim certainly worked hard because this week, he won Korea's first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics alongside his teammate, An San, in the archery mixed team event after the pair defeated Steve Wijler and Gabriela Schloesser of the Netherlands in the final.

Kim is also the youngest person to ever win an Olympic gold medal in the history of Korea's archery team.

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Hong Kong: Cheung Ka-long

It has been 25 years since Lee Lai-shan won a historic gold medal for Hong Kong at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. However, all that changed when Cheung Ka-long defeated Olympic champion Daniele Garozza in a captivating men’s individual foil fencing match this week. 

Cheung held his composure throughout the fierce battle and managed to win 15-11 in a fantastic race to the top of the podium that will go down in the history books for sure. 

See also: Hong Kong Fencer Cheung Ka-long Makes History With Olympic Gold Medal

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Thailand: Panipak Wongpattanakit

In 2016, Panipak Wongpattanakit participated in the Rio Olympics and earned a bronze medal. This year, the taekwondo superstar is back and managed to win the women's 49kg to finally get her a gold medal for Thailand.

In what was an extremely nail-biting competition, Wongpattanakit managed to steal the winning title from her opponent, Adriana Cerezo Iglesias, in the last seven seconds when she landed a two-point body kick and reversed a one-point lead.

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