(Asian Games) S Korea picks up pace with 5 gold medals

August 23, 2018

JAKARTA, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) — South Korea picked up the pace in the medal race with five gold medals on Thursday at the 18th Asian Games, with two artistic gymnasts leading the way.

Kim Han-sol and Yeo Seo-jeong each delivered a gold medal in artistic gymnastics on Thursday in Jakarta. Kim won the men’s floor exercise title, while Yeo captured the women’s vault gold medal.

They were also South Korea’s first gymnastics gold medals at these Asian Games.

Yeo’s gold was a significant one for the family. Her father, Yeo Hong-chul, won the 1994 and 1998 Asiad gold medals in the men’s vault.

South Korean artistic gymnast Yeo Seo-jeong completes her second attempt in the women's vault final at the 18th Asian Games at JIExpo in Jakarta on Aug. 23, 2018. (Yonhap)

South Korean artistic gymnast Yeo Seo-jeong completes her second attempt in the women’s vault final at the 18th Asian Games at JIExpo in Jakarta on Aug. 23, 2018. (Yonhap)

On the final day of taekwondo, Lee Dae-hoon won gold in the men’s 68-kilogram division over Amirmohammad Bakhshikalhori of Iran. He is the first to win three straight taekwondo gold medals in Asian Games.

Lee, one of South Korea’s most accomplished taekwondo fighters, won his two previous gold medals in the 63kg division.

South Korea wrapped up taekwondo with five gold medals, only half way to its initial target.

It managed two out of four gold medals in poomsae, or demonstration form of the martial art, after setting out to win all four titles. In sparring events, South Korea won three gold medals, while six other nations also won at least one title in a show of increasing parity.

In fencing, the men’s sabre team defeated Iran 45-32 for South Korea’s second straight gold. Gu Bon-gil, the individual champion from Monday, became South Korea’s first double gold medalist in Jakarta.

South Korea has won five gold medals in fencing, with one day of competition remaining.

South Korean shooter Shin Hyun-woo celebrates his gold medal in the men’s double trap event at the 18th Asian Games at Jakabaring Sport City Shooting Range in Palembang, Indonesia, on Aug. 23, 2018. (Yonhap)

Over in Palembang, co-host city of the Asian Games with Jakarta, Shin Hyun-woo grabbed gold in the men’s double trap shooting event. He trailed Shardul Vihan of India 73-72 with two shots remaining, and then rallied for a 74-73 victory.

This was South Korea’s first gold in shooting after three silver and two bronze medals.

With these five gold medals on Thursday, South Korea now has 16 golds after five days of the competition, good for third place behind China (55) and Japan (25).

And South Korea has guaranteed itself a gold medal in archery next week.

On Thursday, Kim Woo-jin and Lee Woo-seok, ranked first and second in the world, both won their semifinal matches in Jakarta, setting up the all-South Korean showdown for gold on Tuesday.

It will be the third men’s recurve final between South Koreans at Asian Games, and the first since Han Seung-hoon defeated Kim Kyung-ho in 1998.

South Korea picked up its second medal in equestrian, as Kim Hyeok won bronze in the individual dressage event.

Kim had earlier won silver in the team dressage event. This was the first time South Korea failed to win a dressage gold since 1994. South Korea had claimed every dressage gold medal — in both team and individual events — over the past five Asian Games.

Members of the South Korean men’s sabre fencing team bite their gold medals after defeating Iran at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) Cendrawasih Hall in Jakarta on Aug. 23, 2018. From left: Kim Jung-hwan, Oh Sang-uk, Gu Bon-gil and Kim Jun-ho. (Yonhap)

In Palembang, South Korea collected four rowing medals — three silver and one bronze.

Kim Dong-yong earned silver in the men’s single sculls rowing event at Jakabaring Rowing & Canoeing Regatta Course in Jakabaring Sport City (JSC), giving South Korea its first rowing medal with a time of 7:30.86 in the 2,000-meter race. Kim finished second in this race for the second straight Asian Games.

Moments later at the same venue, Kim Ye-ji and Kim Seul-gi teamed up for silver in the women’s double sculls. Then Kim So-hee and Jeon Seo-yeong delivered another silver in the women’s pair event.

The day’s final rowing medal for South Korea came from the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, where Jung Hye-ri, Ku Bo-yeun, Choi Yu-ri and Ji Yoo-jin combined for bronze.

Also in rowing, the unified Korean team finished sixth in the lightweight men’s four. Kim Su-min and Park Tae-hyun from the South and Yun Chol-jin and Kim Chol-jin from the North were last in the final after getting to that stage through repechage.

At 6:59.61, they were 31.54 seconds behind the gold medal-winning China.

In West Java, west of Jakarta, South Korea collected two paragliding medals. Lee Da-gyeom won silver in the women’s individual accuracy, and Lee Chul-soo got bronze in the men’s individual accuracy. Both had earlier helped South Korea win silver in the men’a team accuracy and bronze in the women’s team accuracy.

The beleaguered men’s football team defeated Iran 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals, on goals by Hwang Ui-jo and Lee Seung-woo.

Head coach Kim Hak-bum’s team has been under fire for some lackluster performances in the group stage, which included a 2-1 loss to Malaysia. But the defending champions are now three wins away from winning another gold medal.

South Korea will meet Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals on Monday.

 

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