Ren Ziwei celebrates after helping China clinch mixed team relay gold ©Getty Images

China delivered home success on the opening day of the Winter Olympics here by taking short track speed skating gold at the Capital Indoor Stadium.

Qu Chunyu, Fan Kexin, Wu Daijing and Ren Ziwei celebrated in front of the home fans after capturing the first-ever Olympic mixed team relay crown.

The Chinese quartet crossed the finish line in 2mins 37.348secs, beating Italy by just 0.016sec to secure gold, as Hungary bagged bronze in 2:40.9.

"I’ve been waiting for this gold medal for 12 years," said Fan.

"From the day I entered the national team, I have always believed in my team-mates.

"Even until this morning we had been working on the strategy, still training, still studying how to be better.

"Every day when we finish training, we have blood in our throats.

"And the moment we won, I thought it was all worth it. 

"We’ve made it."

The Chinese team ensured the host nation finished day one with a gold medal on the board ©Getty Images
The Chinese team ensured the host nation finished day one with a gold medal on the board ©Getty Images

It was China’s first relay gold medal since Vancouver 2010 when the women’s team triumphed in the 3,000m relay.

China has now claimed 14 Winter Olympic titles, with all but three of those coming in short track speed skating.

The Chinese team were the favourites heading into the event and did not disappoint their supporters.

A collision involving the Hungarians and Canadians allowed the Chinese to pull clear, while the Italians tried to claw their way back.

Pietro Sighel almost snatched victory for Italy only to finish narrowly short of Wu, who held on to win for China.

Arianna Fontana was part of the Italian team as she earned her ninth Olympic medal, moving to the top of the medals list in the sport.

Hungary managed pick themselves up to claim bronze, while Canada were penalised for pushing.

"It was a huge relief," said Wu.

"I have experienced too much in the past four years.

"Now we finally realised our dream on the first day [at Beijing 2022]."

Short track competition is due to resume on Monday (February 7).