The following is issued on behalf of the 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Ltd:
China's star athlete Liu Xiang's 110-metre hurdle dash yesterday (December 11) had a touch of class and brings to mind the utterance of an all-conquering Roman general.
It was in 49 BC, a good two millennium ago, that gentleman spoke the Latin words - vene vidi vici - on the banks of the Rubicon.
This afternoon, Liu Xiang (donning tag 107) did the same thing. He "came" to the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground... "saw" his lane... and "conquered" the hearts of his many fans in Hong Kong and beyond.
The run in 13:66 seconds is his fourth since the Beijing shocker last year. With every dash across the hurdles, his confidence flew back. He's all set for the lanes ahead... all the way to the London Olympics in 2012 where he can then lay the ghost to rest.
With the Fifth East Asian Games making its final dash to a Sunday finish, the 28 gold on offer yesterday were mostly swept away in track and field events.
Beside the gold that Liu won, nine of the 10 medals were in China's pocket. The exception was the gold won by Kayo Sugihara of Japan in the 10,000m women's run.
China's roll-call read: 100m women's hurdle - Sun Yawei; 400m women - Chen Jingwen; 400m men - Liu Xiaosheng; long jump women - Chen Yaling; shot put men - Zhang Jun; discus throw women - Li Yanfeng; 3,000m steeplechase women - Li Zhenzhu; 5,000m men - Li Zicheng; and the decathlon won by Qi Haifeng. Hong Kong's Ng Chit-wing managed a bronze.
The day's first honours went to the Chinese men's badminton team, with their 3-1 victory over the Koreans. The bronze was equally shared by the Chinese Taipei and Japanese teams.
Paddle power was out in force in Shatin's Shing Mun River where six medals were rewarded and Hong Kong grabbed a precious gold in the lightweight men's double sculls. Their time of 6:13.69 was a good 2.12 seconds in front of the Chinese pair.
In the men's lightweight four, the Japanese oarsmen hit the line at 5:48.28, ahead of the Chinese team 4.75 seconds. Daisaku Takeda of Japan took gold with his lightweight single sculls performance and a time of 6:44.93. Second was China and Hong Kong grabbed the bronze.
The Chinese women's four race covered the 2000m course in 6:40.07, ahead of the Chinese Taipei team by a good four seconds.
Two other women's rowing events - the lightweight single sculls and the lightweight quadruple sculls - also went to China.
The final two golds in bowling will be decided today, with the lanes busy yesterday with eight games each in the masters men and women event.
In the Hong Kong Coliseum golden showdown, it was China's Basketball women team that came out on top of Chinese Taipei with a 83-58 scoreboard. And in the men's it was thrills to the line as Korea just got the better of their Chinese Taipei opponents. Final score: 98-97.
Earlier, Japan's women took the bronze with a 86-77 win over the Koreans. The men's bronze went to Japan with a 79-71 win over China.
On the hockey field of King's Park, there was more drama in the women's flick-off decider between Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei than in the two men's round robin matches later.
With each flick towards the well-padded goal custodian, tension mounted and the bronze finally went Hong Kong's way 9-8.
In the later men's round robin matches, Hong Kong could only manage one goal to the five put away by the Koreans and in the next game Japan simply proved too strong for China, putting up 4-1 on the final scoreboard.
Out on the waters off Stanley Main Beach, the 24 participants from five regions went round in Race 9 of the windsurfing competition, with Hong Kong looking at three gold and possibly a silver in today's finals.
Another event where Hong Kong should sweep home with all the gold in the kitty is squash - Hong Kong pairs booking their places in the men's and women's doubles finals as well as the mixed doubles.
The weightlifting "heavies" came out for the final three golds and in the over 75kg women's class, Qi Xihui of China did it with a 275kg final lift. It was in the 105kg men's grade that China's Yang Zhe set a Games record with his 390kg haul. The final push was the mammoth 405kg effort by An Yongkwon of Korea in the over 105kg class for men.
In the first of three days of wushu action on the floor of the Western Park Sports Centre, the "taolu" battle saw Zhao Shi of China coming out of top in the changquan women's final. In the changquan men's, it was Jia Rui of Macau who scored a winning 9.80 score.
Kowloon Park Swimming Park, where Games records have tumbled in five days starting from Sunday, saw diving action in three categories.
In the 3m springboard men's final, Li Shixin of China beat fellow countryman Lin Jin by 18.95 points after a seven-jump total of 495.15. And there was no stopping Qu Lin of China in the 1m springboard for women. Her seven-jump total of 297.55 was an adequate 3.5 points better than Liu Jiao, also of China.
In the day's final diving event - the synchronised 10m platform for men - Chen Aisen and Zhang Yanquan of China took the laurels with a 486.09 points total, ahead of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea pair who were 55.53 points behind.
Ends/Saturday, December 12, 2009