South Korea dominates major team sports in Asian Games

October 2, 2014

Picks up gold in football, basketball and volleyball

Kim Yeon-koung leads the   celebration  after defeating China. (Yonhap)

Kim Yeon-koung leads the celebration after defeating China. (Yonhap)

INCHEON (Yonhap) — South Korea enjoyed a huge day in major team sports on Thursday, picking up gold medals in football, volleyball and basketball.

The men’s football team prevailed over North Korea in a highly-anticipated showdown, with Rim Chang-woo getting the thrilling winner just moments from the whistle in the second extra period, after the teams ended regulation scoreless.

Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae captured a historic gold in the individual all-around final, the country’s first-ever Asiad title in the event.

Bowler Lee Na-young became South Korea’s first quadruple gold medalist by taking the masters title.

Soft tennis, bowling and taekwondo produced two gold medals each, while there was also a team gold in women’s modern pentathlon.

With three days left in the 16-day competition, South Korea, in all, captured 11 gold medals on Thursday to reach 73, which compared with 76 gold medals it had won in the 2010 Asiad.

China picked up 11 gold medals Thursday, four of them from athletics. The giant has now collected a total of 142 gold medals, nearly double the South Korean total.

China now has more gold medals than the next three countries in the medal table combined — South Korea (73), Japan (46) and Kazakhstan (20).

In other team sports, South Korea defeated China 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-21) for gold in women’s volleyball, its first in 20 years. Superstar Kim Yeon-koung scored the match-best 26 points to help her team take revenge on the 3-2 defeat to China in the gold medal match in Guangzhou.

The women’s basketball team also ended a 20-year Asian Games drought for gold, beating China 70-64 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicates. Incidentally, South Korea lost to China by the same score in the final at the Guangzhou Asiad.

China had won the past three Asiad golds before Incheon.

The South Korean soft tennis duo of Kim Dong-hoon and Kim Beom-jun seized gold in the men’s doubles, with a 5-2 win over the Chinese Taipei pair of Lin Ting Chun and Li Chia Hung.

Earlier, Kim Ae-kyung and Joo Og defeated compatriots Kim Ji-yeon and Yoon Soo-jung 5-1 for the women’s doubles title.

South Korea bagged two more gold medals from its traditional martial art taekwondo at the Asian Games on Thursday, raising its gold medal tally to five in Incheon.

Lee Dae-hoon won his second straight gold in the men’s under-63㎏, dominating Akkarin Kitwijarn of Thailand with an 18-2 victory. Lee became the third South Korean taekwondo fighter to win back-to-back Asian Games gold medals.

Before him, teammate Lee Da-bin captured gold in the women’s under-62㎏, with an 8-7 win over Zhang Hua of China.

Bowling produced the country’s first quadruple gold medal winner, as Lee Na-young captured the women’s masters. She’d earlier won gold in the doubles and trios competitions as well as the individual all-events.

Park Jong-woo won his third bowling gold in the masters, adding it to earlier titles in the individual all-events and in the team of five match.

South Korea topped all nations with seven bowling gold medals and 14 medals overall.

China has been even more dominant in athletics. With only the men’s marathon remaining, China has won 15 gold medals and 40 medals in total from track and field.

Elsewhere, Qatar defeated South Korea for its first men’s handball gold medal.

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