South Korea blunder, North break another world record at Asian Games
AFP | London
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
A red-faced South Korean rollerskater blundered away a gold medal at the Asian Games yesterday, while a North Korean weightlifter broke another world record.
Jung Cheol-won had nowhere to hide after easing up and celebrating gold in the 3,000m men’s relay final as he came towards the line, only to be pipped by a hundredth of a second.
The fast-finishing Huang Yulin from Taiwan just managed to lunge with his leg across the line first for what he called a “miracle” win.
“While you were celebrating, I was still fighting,” said Huang. A crestfallen Jung bowed his head: “I made a rather big mistake. I am very sorry.
I apologise to my teammates and to our fans who supported us. “We all worked very hard together for this, and it’s all my fault. In the North Korean camp there was joy as Kim Il Gyong, 20, became the third woman in a row from the country to break a world record at the Hangzhou Games.
Kim, who appears to have last competed internationally as a 14-year-old junior in 2018, set a new snatch record of 111kg on her way to gold in the 59kg class.
On Saturday Ri Song Gum broke two world records in the women’s 49kg, the first weightlifting event of the Games.
Then Kang Hyong Yong, 24, set a hat-trick of world records in snatch, clean and jerk, and combined in the women’s 55kg class.
North Korean weightlifters have not taken part in international competition since 2019 after the country’s borders were sealed because of the pandemic.
“Like athletes from other NOCs, we train in great venues. We are devoted and very committed to our preparation,” explained Kim when asked about North Korea’s incredible performances after years of exile.
They had been scheduled to return to action at a meeting in Cuba in June, but rival lifters strongly objected, saying the North Koreans have not been dope-tested since 2019.
In the end the North Koreans did not show up.
In athletics, three-time highjump world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim needed only one leap to cruise into Wednesday’s final.
“For me, the Asian Games are important.
You see these vibes, it’s like our Olympics before the Olympics,” said the Qatari after clearing 2.19m.
Hosts China continued to stretch their dominance at the head of the medals table, with golds in canoeing, eventing, and diving among others.
They now have 142 golds and 257 medals in all with Japan and South Korea next, both on 30 golds.