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(Asian Games) Two taekwondo golds among nine medals for S. Korea on Day 1

23:27 August 19, 2018

By Yoo Jee-ho and Joo Kyung-don

JAKARTA, Aug. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea wasted little time establishing its winning ways at the 18th Asian Games, picking up two gold medals to go along with three silver and four bronze medals on Sunday, the first full day of competition in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.

Taekwondo poomsae practitioners delivered both of the gold medals, plus one silver and one bronze, to get the ball rolling in Jakarta. Poomsae, which requires taekwondo practitioners to demonstrate attacking and defensive moves of the Korean martial art, offered all four its gold medals on Sunday.

Kang Min-sung won the men's individual title for South Korea's first gold at these Asian Games, beating Koorosh Bakhtiyar of Iran by 8.81 to 8.73.

The men's team of Han Yeong-hun, Kang Wan-jin and Kim Seon-ho then defeated China for the day's second poomsae gold.

Members of the South Korean men's taekwondo poomsae team celebrate their gold medal at the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) Plenary Hall in Jakarta on Aug. 19, 2018. (Yonhap)

South Korea had been hoping to sweep all four poomsae titles, but the women's team of Gwak Yeo-won, Choi Dong-ah and Park Jae-eun took silver and Yun Ji-hye earned bronze in the women's individual event.

In fencing, South Korea picked up one silver and two bronze medals.

Park Sang-young was the runner-up in the men's individual epee, while teammate Jung Jin-sun took bronze. In the women's individual sabre, Kim Ji-yeon was the bronze medalist.

Park battled through pain in both knees in losing to Dmitriy Alexanin of Kazakhstan 15-12.

South Korean fencer Park Sang-young (R) attacks Dmitriy Alexanin of Kazakhstan in the men's individual epee final at the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) Cendrawashi Hall in Jakarta on Aug. 19, 2018. (Yonhap)

While three medals are nothing to sneeze at, the South Korean fencing delegation has to be disappointed with its start. It set out to win eight out of 12 gold medals at stake in fencing, matching the total from four years ago.

A silver medal came from Palembang, 430 kilometers northwest of Jakarta, where Lee Dae-myung and Kim Min-jung finished second in the 10-meter air pistol mixed team event.

They scored 467.6 points to rank behind Wu Jiayu and Ji Xiaojing of China, who had 473.2 points.

In swimming, Lee Ju-ho was a surprise bronze medalist in the men's 100m backstroke. His was South Korea's first swimming medal here and provided a nice boost to a team missing Park Tae-hwan, the 2008 Olympic freestyle champion, who is skipping these Asian Games due to loss of form.

Also on Sunday, a unified Korean men's rowing team made its Asian Games debut in Palembang. Kim Su-min and Park Tae-hyun from South Korea and Yun Chol-jin and Kim Chol-jin from North Korea finished last among four teams in Heat 1 of the lightweight men's four competition with a time of 7:12.74. They have been relegated to repechage on Tuesday.

North Korea also picked up its first medal of the Asian Games Sunday, as freestyle wrestler Kang Kum-song claimed silver in the men's 57 kilogram division.

South Korean swimmer Lee Ju-ho celebrates his bronze medal in the men's 100-meter breaststroke at the 18th Asian Games at GBK Aquatic Center on Aug. 19, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

kdon@yna.co.kr
(END)

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