Incheon: Japan`s Shotaro Shirai has set his sights on robbing Chinese gymnastics superstar Zou Kai of gold in the Asian Games individual floor routine after sensationally outdoing the five-time Olympic gold medallist in the team event.
Zou, China`s most decorated Olympian, thought he had done enough to secure top spot in the floor round but Shirai, in his first major international event at Incheon in South Korea, pipped him with a simpler but better executed routine.
Shirai`s turn helped Japan to gold as a patchy China were beaten into third place by hosts South Korea on Sunday.
Now the 23-year-old -- a relative veteran in the world of gymnastics -- has Wednesday`s individual floor gold medal in his crosshairs.
Asked after his team performance if he was now aiming for victory in the individual event, he said: "Yes. As long as I focus on my performance, I believe the results will come along naturally, so I will do my best to concentrate on my job."
Japan, silver medallists behind China at the 2012 Olympics but without a single member of that team present, were impressive in their consistency and showed real class on the pommel and high bar.
Like several other top Japanese gymnasts, Shirai`s brother Kenzo, the floor world champion, is missing Incheon to concentrate on the world championships in Nanning, China, from October 3.