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Golden treble for Park
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 18 - 11 - 2010

GUANGZHOU, China: South Korean star Park Tae-hwan blitzed the field to collect his third gold medal in the Asian Games pool Wednesday as a conspiracy row rumbled at the taekwondo.
Despite Park's fireworks, China again dominated Day 5 to extend its lead at the top of the medals table to 97 gold, ahead of South Korea on 29 and Japan on 17, with North Korea and Iran next best on five.
But it was the 21-year-old Park's night, sprinting to victory in the 100 meters freestyle after taking gold in the 200m and 400m events.
Park, the Olympic champion over 400m, clocked 48.70sec in beating China's Lu Zhiwu by 0.28sec, with Japan's Takuro Fujii taking the bronze medal in 49.37.
The win was his fifth medal in Guangzhou after two bronze in the relays, four years on from his seven-medal haul at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
“I am so happy to get the gold medal in the 100m freestyle after winning the 400m freestyle last night because the 100m is not my main event,” Park said.
“I didn't even think about getting a medal before the race. I just wanted to be in the final because the Chinese and Japanese competitors are very strong.”
His teammate Jeong Darae also stunned the Chinese by winning the women's 200m breaststroke, while Japan's Ken Takakuwa romped to the men's 200m individual medley gold.
China's Tang Yi resumed normal business for the hosts with her fourth gold of the Games in the women's 100m freestyle. It added to her three relay wins.
Their victories came as Taiwan's Yang Shu-chun pleaded her innocence after being disqualified from the taekwondo for using extra sensors, a move that sparked claims of a conspiracy.
Yang had an extra electonic sensor taped to each of her heels in an effort to score more points before her 49kg quarterfinal against Vietnam's Vu Thi Hau.
The 25-year-old, who was due to meet Olympic champion Wu Jingyu of China next, insisted it was “based on the rules”.
The island's cable television channels broadcast footage of a crying Yang while speculating over a conspiracy to kick out their fighter so that her Chinese rival may have a smoother path to gold.
Taiwan's top sports body said it regretted the “unfair” judgement, but added their players would not boycott the Games in protest.
The hosts, meanwhile, tasted more success with Guo Shuang making history by becoming the first female track cyclist to win three Asiad golds when she powered to the sprint title.
On the last day of track cycling action, Malaysia also got amongst the medals with Azizulhasni Awang winning the men's Keirin ahead of Josiah Ng. Following two spectacular smashes in the women's points race Tuesday, there was more drama when Iran's Mohammad Parash took a heavy fall after running into the prone Zhang Lei.
Parash was sent flying head first over his handle bars at speed and had to be stretchered off in a neck brace.
At the shooting ranges, North and South Korea shared four gold to prevent a Chinese domination while South Korea also spoiled the host's party in gymnastics.
China claimed four of the five gym golds but Yang Hak-Seon upset the odds to take the men's vault title.
Golf got underway with Filipino Migeul Luis Tabuena firing an opening round 68 to take a one-stroke lead.
– Agence France


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