Bowl ‘em over: South Korea regains 2nd place in Asian Games

September 26, 2014
South Korea earned 15 medals, eight of them gold, in 2010 Asian Games, but got off to a slow start this year at home. (Yonhap)

South Korea earned 15 medals, including 8 gold, in 2010 Asian Games, but got off to a slow start this year at home. (Yonhap)

By Special Reporting Team

INCHEON (Yonhap) — Host South Korea picked up three gold medals on Friday, barely, but enough to move past Japan for second place in the medal standings.

South Korea earned two gold medals from equestrian and another from bowling, reaching 33 for the competition. Japan, who’d briefly overtaken the host for second place, added two gold medals on Friday to fall back to third.

China, as expected, continued to run away. The Asian giant already has 91 gold medals and 179 medals overall.

China picked up four more gold medals in swimming and ended the swimming portion of the Asiad with 22 gold medals, 10 more than the next closest competitor, Japan.

For China, Sun Yang collected his third gold medal of the Asiad by winning the 1,500m freestyle.

The day’s first two South Korean gold medals came from equestrian eventing. Song Sang-wuk won the individual gold medal and then helped the team win the team gold medal, too.

Song, 41, finished first in the individual eventing with the fewest penalty points of 37.90. In the team event, Song joined Cheon Jai-sik, Hong Won-jae and Ban Si-re for the gold with 133.00 penalty points.

South Korea had earlier swept gold medals in the individual and team dressage events, becoming the second country to grab all golds in eventing at an Asiad since Japan in 2010.

South Korea later struck its first bowling gold in the women’s doubles squad event.

The duo of Lee Na-young and Son Yun-hee scored 2,553 points for the gold. Their teammates Lee Yeong-seung and Jung Da-wun got the bronze.

The shooters weren’t as sharp on Friday as they had been a day earlier. They won two silver medals, one each in the the women’s rifle three-position team and individual events, and also a bronze medal, from the men’s 25m center fire pistol event.

In the women’s football, South Korea reached the semis by beating Chinese Taipei 1-0 and will meet North Korea in the semifinals on Monday.

It will be the rematch of the semis at the 2010 Asiad in Guangzhou, where North Korea prevailed 3-1.

Hardly has a day gone by in Incheon without a world record being set. Chinese weightlifter Zhou Lulu did the work on Friday, shattering a world record in the clean and jerk en route to capturing the gold medal in the women’s over-75㎏ class.

Zhou lifted 142㎏ in the snatch and hoisted a record-breaking 192㎏ in the clean and jerk for a total of 334㎏.

Her record is 2㎏ above the previous one set by Russia’s Tatiana Kashirina during the 2013 World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland. Zhou’s combined weight was the same as the current total world record also set by Kashirina last year.

South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan neither set any world record nor win a gold medal on Friday, but he did become the country’s most decorated athlete in Asian Games history.

He closed out his Asian Games with a bronze medal in the 4×100m medley relay. It was his 20th Asian Games medal over three competitions.

The former Olympic gold medalist and world champion leaves Incheon with one silver medal and five bronze medals in seven races.

Earlier in the day, he finished fourth in the 1,500m freestyle.

In Incheon, Park won bronze medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle as well as the 4×200m and 4×100m relays. He picked up his first silver in the 100m freestyle on Thursday.

Park finished fourth in the 1,500m freestyle, held before the relay event. Sun Yang of China won the gold medal with ease.

After all the races were finished, Sun surprised Park by presenting him with an early birthday cake by the pool. Park turns 25 on Saturday.