By Nick Butler at the Main Press Centre in Incheon

Kim Dongeson won one of five South Korean goals on day one as part of the dominant dressage team ©Getty ImagesSouth Korea enjoyed a superb opening day of competition here at the Asian Games, claiming five gold medals across the sports of fencing, dressage, cycling and wushu to edge China at the top of the early medals table.

While they are unlikely to stay ahead of their East Asian rivals for long, the host nation will be delighted to have made such a strong start, particularly because the added pressure of performing on home turf can often act as a curse as much as a blessing.

Lee Ha Sung struck first by claiming the men's changquan wushu title, before a dominant display of horsemanship saw the South Koreans ease their way to the team dressage crown.

Kang Dong-jin, Yim Chae-bin and Son Je-yong then stopped the clock at 59.616sec to beat China to the team sprint cycling title, and make amends for their team mates' loss to the same opponents in the corresponding women's final earlier in the afternoon.

But it was fencing, always among the host nation's strongest sports, that proved most fruitful, after the women's sabre and men's epee events both came down to all-South Korean finals.

First, Lee Ra-jin stunned Kim Ji-yeon, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist, in the women's final by the score of 15-11, before Jung Jin-sun followed suit, beating Park Kyoung-doo in the men's epee for a first individual Asian Games title following team victories at Doha 2006 and Guangzhou 2010.

Jung Jin-sun en route to winning the all South Korean epee final ©Getty ImagesJung Jin-sun en route to winning the all South Korean epee final ©Getty Images

Another country who excelled on the first day of action was Mongolia, who managed two judo titles courtesy of men's under 66 kilogram fighter Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj and women's under 48kg competitor Urantsetseg Munkhbat, both of whom beat Japanese opponents in the final.

Japan did eventually claim gold through Misato Nakamura in the women's under 52kg category, while the men's under 60kg spoils were taken by Yeldos Smetov of Kazakhstan.

Japan will surely rise up the medals table with time, as will China, after an opening day in which Asia's sporting superpower endured some frustration, but also much success.

China also won five golds, including one in synchronised swimming, but less minor medals than South Korea ©AFP/Getty ImagesChina also won five golds, including one in synchronised swimming, but less minor medals than South Korea ©AFP/Getty Images

As well as the triumph in the velodrome, Huang Xuechen and Sun Wenyan claimed the synchronised swimming duet spoils, while there was a hat-trick of shooting victories.

Zhang Mengyuan won the 10 metre pistol shooting after earlier helping the team to the first gold medal of the Games, while the men soon followed suit with a 50m pistol team triumph.

But it was India who claimed individual 50m glory when, after a build-up disrupted by a missed accreditation deadline, Jitu Rai finished ahead of Hoang Phuong Nguyen of Vietnam and Wang Zhiwei of China.

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