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Water wealth for the supers

The following is issued on behalf of the 2009 East Asian Games (HK) Ltd.:

     Another lesson in Chinese belief - "water means wealth". And the skies turned grey, and rains pelted the many outdoor venues, but the unstoppable super powers of East Asian sports churned on with a sweep of cherished gold, silver and bronze.

     At day's end on Day Six of the Fifth East Asian Games, the scoreboard showed a weighty collection for leader China - an envious 60 medals (27 gold), (18 silver) and (15 bronze). Japan kept up with 18 gold,16 silver and 20 bronze.

     The Hong Kong camp had never seen such a haul in the 16 years of participating in such Games. To date it's a lovely bundle of 37 medals - eight gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze.

     The swimmers in all eight competitions in Kowloon Park Swimming Pool kept the Games records tumbling. These were: women's 50m breaststroke - Gao Chang (China); women's 200m individual medley - Liu Jing (China); women's 50m butterfly - Jiao Liuyang (China); women's 4x200m freestyle relay - China; men's 50m butterfly - Kohei Kawamoto (Japan); men's 200m freestyle - Yoshihiro Okumura  (Japan); men's 200m backstroke - Ryosuke Irie (Japan); and men's 800m freestyle - Yohsuke Miyamoto (Japan).

     Another Games record was broken - the Democratic People's Republic of Korera's Kim Un Guk howled his way to his nation's first gold with a heave of 310 kilogrammes.

     The clock ticked close to 10.30pm when the curtains came down on six days of dramatic table tennis competition. It was the men's singles decider and China's Xu Xin beat his country-man Zhang Ji-ki 4-2 for the top medal. Earlier, they paired for the doubles title.

     Not be out-done, Hong Kong's dream team - Ko Lai-chak and Tie Ya-na - swept to the mixed doubles gold, beating their fellow team-mates Tang Peng and Jiang Hua-jun,and the women's double had the Japanese pair of Ai Fukuhara and Kasumi Ishikawa claiming gold.

     But the best match of the night was the women's singles between Yao Yan and Wen Jia. Three games each, they decided the tenterhook match point at 13-11, with Yao Yan.

     The tennis courts of Victoria Park proved too risky to risk play and the migraine for officials did not go away until it was decided late in the day to play ball today.

     The early awards were in the indoor cycling events at the Tseung Kwan O Sports Centre. Again it was Kuan Sok Mui of Macau who seems to make it a habit of winning. Her gold was for women's single artistic cycling. Second was Hong Kong's Tsang Yu-sum and bronze to Lo Wai-man, also of Hong Kong.

     In the next event - the men's artistic pair - it was a Hong Kong one-two. Yu Sum-yee and Lo Tin-hin grabbed gold, ahead of another Hong Kong duet - Ip Hin-bon and Yu Po-man. This time Macau's Antonio Jose Lou and Wong Hang-cheong had to settle for third.

     Japan took gold in the final indoor cycling event - the men's cycle ball. Hong Kong second and the bronze to Macau and the curtains come down on this sport.

     China was right on target when Zhu Qinan took gold in the men's 10m air rifle shooting and Liu Tianyou took silver. Toshikazu Yamashita of Japan had to settle for the bronze.

     The multi-purpose Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre was put to yet another use, as bowling took over for the next five days.

     Two golds were decided yesterday. In the singles women, Hwang Sun Ok of Korea knocked down a total of 1,405 pins in six games (average 234.2) to pip her compatriot Shin Bo Hyun who had an average of 232.0. Misaki Mukotani of Japan was third with 227.8.

     When the men's took to the lanes, it was Toshihiko Takahashi of Japan who scored a perfect 300 game on his way to the gold. His total of 1,446 was 15 pins ahead of Hong Kong's Wu Siu-hong (silver) and Korea's Kim Jae Hoon 23 pins later.

     As the final curtains drop on the final two gold in cue sports, the one-cushion carom singles for men went to Japan's Yoichiro Mori, while China's Chen Xue took the six-red women's snooker title. 

     Muscle-flexing action made its debut at the Lai Chi Kok Park Sports Centre where weightlifters - men and women - stepped on the podium to do their thing.

     In the 48kg women's event China's powerhouse Yang Lian, who set a world record push of 117kg in the clean and jerk at the last Macau Games, managed to retain gold with a total 202kg - 90kg in the snatch and 112kg in the clean and jerk. Her total was a comfortable 10kg more than second and third placers, Chen Wei-ling of Chinese Taipei and Ryang Chun-Hwa of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, both with 192kg. The silver was decided on a better clean and jerk.

     In the other weightlifting competition, the 56kg men's final, China's Long Qingquan heaved a mighty 280kg (125kg in snatch and 155kg in clean and jerk) to bring home the gold. Chinese Taipei's Yang Chin-yi could only manage a 240kg total. Mongolia's Munkhdul Enkhjargal got bronze with a 215kg combined weight.

     Next, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Kim Un Guk came on in 62kg class and heaved a Games record shattering 310 kg. Chinese Taipei's Yang Sheng-hsiung pushed up 296kg for silver. Third was Cha Kum Chol, also of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.       

     Over on the floor-mat of Shek Kip Mei Park Sports Centre, six taekwondo titles were decided - the Koreans sweeping three golds in the men's 72kg class (Song Jihoon); the 67kg (Kim Eunghyun); and the 62kg (Kim Yong Min). In the distaff grade, the Korean cleansweep was rattled by Chinese Taipei's Tseng Pei-hua in the 59kg class. And the 63kg did go to Korean Kim Sae Rom and the 55kg to her compatriot Lee Hye Young.

     Out of the rain, the four basketball tourneys held at the Western Park Sports Centre, saw the Chinese Taipei girls maul the Koreans 91-56 in the women's preliminary. However, it was a different story for the men's preliminary between Macau and Mongolia. Macau huffed and puffed to a slim 92-89 lead.

     The evening face-off between Hong Kong and China in a women's preliminary turned into a one-sided 117-31 lesson for Hong Kong, while the men's from China showed their Chinese Taipei opponents a 76-48 end score.

     There was high drama in the hockey match between the China and Hong Kong male teams . The Chinese pushed to a 4-0 first-half time lead with the loud-cheering crowd rallying behind every Hong Kong moves forward. The end result was a 6-1 drubbing for Hong Kong.

     Earlier in the day, there was a close call for the Koreans as they sloshed around in the wet and still lost 3-0 to the Chinese in the women's round robin match. In the men's round robin, it was Korea that had the better of Macau with an emphatic 12-1.

     Out in the wet and windy football pitch of Siu Sai Wan, Macau had a miserable time facing a stronger Japanese team. Result: 5-0.

Ends/Tuesday, December 8, 2009


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