JAKARTA: Sarah Lee Wai Sze won the women’s sprint title for her second gold medal in Jakarta and her record fifth for Hong Kong at the Asian Games.
While the Olympic medalist’s win fulfilled expectations for Hong Kong, Jai Angsuthasawit picked up an unexpected track cycling gold for Thailand to break a 48-year drought.
“I thought that the gold medal was not the most important, but the qualification time is really meaningful for me, because it’s almost an Asian record,” Lee said. “And also, I thought it’s also top three in the world, so I hope that I can really have some good races in the World Cup or in the World Championships.”
Lee won the 500-meter time trial at the 2010 Asian Games, and won the keirin and sprint titles in Incheon four years ago and defended both titles in Jakarta.
The 31-year-old Lee won an Olympic bronze in 2012 and world title in 2013 in the keirin, and wants to sign off with gold in Tokyo in 2020.
“It is every athlete’s dream to win the gold medal at the Olympics,” she said. “I hope to get the gold medal in two years’ time.”
Angsuthasawit had never previously got close to a major title before winning the men’s keirin from former champions Yudia Nitta of Japan and Azizhulhasni Awang of Malaysia, a world champion and Olympic bronze medalist.
It was Thailand’s first gold in track cycling since it hosted the games in 1970.
Elsewhere Friday, South Korea reached the baseball final with a 10-1 win over China in the super round.
Koreans will feature in some big finals on Saturday, with Tottenham forward Son Heung-min needing one last win to get an exemption from military service.
His lineup will take on Japan for the soccer gold medal, which the South Korean government rewards with the exemption from national service.
Plenty of people in England are keeping track of his progress, a long way from the Premier League.
“I will return to my club with South Korea’s victory,” Son was quoted as saying on the eve of the final. “I know I have to move first and be an example.”
Son missed the Asian Games on home soil in 2014 when South Korea won, and needs to ensure the title defense ? and a record fifth Asian Games title for his country ? so he can avoid a serious interruption to his Premier League career ? and millions in income ? sometime in the next few seasons.
South Korea took bronze in the women’s soccer tournament with a 4-0 win over Taiwan. Japan and China were playing for gold.
There’ll be nine South Koreans and three from the North on the combined Koreas women’s basketball team aiming for victory Saturday in the final. That medal, be it gold or silver, won’t be added to the tally for either country but instead will join the gold and two bronze medals already attained by the joint Koreas teams entered in three sports. —AP