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Sunshine and the century mark is passed

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

     Brilliant sunshine Hong Kong is a great place... especially for sports that need to come out to join the five open-air events already underway on the ninth day of the Fifth East Asian Games.

     Cycling road races and track and field events joined the band-wagon as crunch matches loomed in football, hockey, rowing and tennis. It was a day of rest for the wind-surfers.

     Four days of dismal condition later, the tennis gods were beaming as the catch-up to ace serves, questionable line calls and match points were reached in five golds.

     The men's double went to the Chinese Zeng-Zhang duo; the women's double to the Chuang-Hsieh pair of Chinese Taipei; and the mixed double – Chinese Taipei's Chuang and Yi.

     This left only the singles crown and Chang Kai Chen of Chinese Taipei took the women's title while the men's went to Yuichi Sugita of Japan.

     Women cyclists took to the scenic route – the toll plaza of Route 8 to the Ngong Shuen Chau viaduct and back -- earmarked for the individual road race and two hours 43 minutes and 41 seconds later, China's Liu Xiaohui took gold, just ahead of Huang Ho-hsun of Chinese Taipei and China's Sheng Yongyan in a blind finish.

     In the men's time trial, the Japanese team of Makoto Iijima, Kazuo Inoue, Kazuhiro Mori and Hayato Yoshida swept to victory in a time of 1:38:38.84. They were a comfortable 2:23.05 minutes ahead of the Chinese team. Hong Kong's quartet had to settle for the bronze.

     And it was a day that the Chinese and Japan reached their century in medals haul. At the end of the day the Chinese bonanza read: 55 gold, 41 silver and 32 bronze. Japan could only manage 35 gold, 34 silver and 42 bronze.

     The ten golds in track and field events went to: 200m men –Kenji Fujimitsu (Japan); 200m women –Jiang Lan (China); 20km walk men – Yu Wei (China); 20km walk women – Li Yanfei (China); shot put women – Li Ling (China); long jump men – Li Jinzhe (China); javelin throw men—Qin Qiang (China); pole vault women –Lim Eun Ji (Korea); 800m men – Ryosuke Awazu (Japan); and 800m women – Liu Qing (China). 

     There was high drama out on the hockey grounds of King's Park. In the first of four matches, China put six past the Chinese Taipei side in a round-robin faceoff.
In the second game, the Korean girls showed their determination by going ahead two goals, but the Japanese were just as determined and the second half ended 4-2 in favour of the Koreans.

     With the Chinese Taipei side having the same points as the Hong Kong girls, it was decided to let a penalty flick-off today (December 11) afternoon determine who gets the bronze.

     The latter men's round-robin showdown saw China going down 1-3 to a spirited Korean side and Japan scoring almost a goal every three minutes and an embarrassing 20-0 drubbing of Macau.

     Oars action continued in preliminary men's and women's races down the Shing Mun River course. Thirteen golds will be decided in this event today and on Saturday.

     With the semi-final stage reached in the popular football event, Japan and Korea decided it's best to leave everything to the last... the dying second of the second half of extra-time to break the deadlock.

     With the clock ticking to a penalty showdown, Kensuke Nagai slipped a tight-cornered shot past the Korean custodian for a 2-1 victory and a place in the final.

     In the evening encounter crowd's favourite Hong Kong, playing to the invigorating roars from the stands, took a first half lead in a gruelling battle with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea side. But a defensive miscalculation allowed the PKR side to nod in the equaliser near the end of the second half.

     It was an equally undecided extra 30 minutes and the cruel fate of penalties came. And it was Hong Kong that came away with a 4-2 result... and a date with Japan for the Saturday final.     

     In weightlifting, Macau's Zhang Shaoling – in the 69kg women's class – pushed up a gold-medal winning 243.0kg combined weight to beat China's Liu Chunhong.

     Then came the Games record smashing haul of Cao Lei of China in the 75kg women's rank and the shuddering Games record weight of 374kg by Jiang Hairong of China in the hefty 94kg group.

     Next-stage hopes were raised or dashed when the nine squash doubles quarter-finalists in men's, women's and mixed entered the court. Action continues on this front today.

     In bowling, gold medals tumbled like nine-pins with the Koreans sweeping all titles at stake – the men's trio, the women's trio, the team of five men, the team of five women and the all events men title going to Hong Hae Sol, and the same women's honour to Gye Min Young.

     In aquatics, the curtains came down on the final eight swimming laurels... and there was an intruder into the China-Japan vice-grip. Young Cheng Wan-Jung of Chinese Taipei lunged to a surprise finish over Liu Jing of China in the 400m individual medley for women. Her time of 04:40.21 was only 00:00.13 ahead, and it was a Games record.

     Other swimming results in record time: 50m freestyle women –Li Zhesi (China) 00:24.68; 50m freestyle men – Cai Li (China) 00:22.56; 200m butterfly men – Ryusuke Sakata (Japan) 01:55.23; 400m freestyle men – Sun Yang (China) 03:46.16; 4x100m medley relay men (Japan) 03:31.71; and 4x100m medley relay women (China) 03:58.51. The time of 08:37.88 in the 800m freestyle women, which was won by Wang Xinyu of China was not a Games record.

     China and Korea booked their places for a final badminton showdown for the men's title, but it was in the team women contest that China smashed their way to gold over Chinese Taipei.

Ends/Friday, December 11, 2009


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