Japan surges ahead of South Korea in Asian Games medal race

September 25, 2014
From left to right, silver medallist Uzbekistan's Abdulla Azimov, gold medallist Japan's Masayoshi Yamamoto and bronze medallist South Korea's Park Min-soo celebrate during the medal ceremony for the gymnastics men's pommel horse final at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014.  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

From left to right, silver medallist Uzbekistan’s Abdulla Azimov, gold medallist Japan’s Masayoshi Yamamoto and bronze medallist South Korea’s Park Min-soo celebrate during the medal ceremony for the gymnastics men’s pommel horse final at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

By Special Reporting Team

INCHEON (Yonhap) — South Korea set its first two world records at this year’s Asian Games on Thursday, as shooters met their gold medal target and rowers notched their best record ever.

Still, Japan overtook the host in the medal race with a strong day at the pool, which included three gold and three bronze medals.

Japan claimed eight gold medals on Thursday to South Korea’s two, which put it in a tie with the host country with 28 gold medals, but Japan has three more silver medals, 36 to 33.

China has more gold medals than Japan and South Korea combined, with 79.

For South Korea, the women’s compound archery team set a world record of 238 points in its quarterfinals victory over Laos. Seok Ji-hyun, Choi Bo-min and Kim Yun-hee broke the previous mark held by the United States, whose archers shot 236 points in 2011.

The day’s second world record for the host came from the shooting range. Kim Mi-jin won the women’s double trap gold medal with a record score of 110 points, beating Zhang Yafei of China by two.

The victory also made Kim the world record holder in this discipline, as this year’s Asiad competition was the first event that meets conditions set by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). After adopting new rules in 2013, the ISFF has been waiting for a competition that fulfills its requirement of having more than 15 athletes from at least five countries participating.

The Asian Games brought a total of 19 shooters from six countries in the women’s double trap.

Kim’s gold was South Korea’s seventh title in shooting, allowing the country to meet its stated gold medal objective on home soil.

It was one of six medals in shooting for South Korea on Thursday (KST).

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