Son avoids military duty with gold
JAKARTA, Indonesia, Sept 1, (Agencies): Tottenham forward Son Heung-min will get to skip military service.
Son avoided the service obligation when South Korea defeated Japan 2-1 in the Asian Games gold medal soccer game on Saturday.
The South Korean government rewards holders of Asian Games gold medals and all Olympic medals with the exemption. Military service is compulsory for South Korean males, and the 26-year-old Son would have faced at least 21 months of service and the loss of millions in income.
Son ran wildly onto the field at the end, hugging teammates with hundreds of South Korea flags flying.
With the match in extra time after 0-0 in regulation, Son got the break he wanted from teammate Lee Seung-woo.
In the 93rd minute, Son broke toward the middle and shuffled a pass to Lee, who drove the ball with his left foot into the top of the net. He immediately posed atop sign boards alongside the edge of the field, celebrating his minute of glory.
South Korea clinched it eight minutes later on a leaping header inside the far post from Hwang Hee-chan. The 101st-minute goal prompted Son to embrace South Korean coach Kim Hak-bum on the sidelines.
Japan’s Ayase Ueda scored on a header with five minutes left to make it close.
South Korea had 65 percent of the possession in regulation time, and had a wide edge in shots, and shots-on goal.
Son almost got the winning goal himself, but his shot just seconds into extra time sailed inches wide of the far post.
Saturday was the last full day of competition at the Asian Games with only one medal event on Sunday – mixed triathlon. The closing ceremony is also Sunday.
Japan also came up short as South Korea won gold in baseball with a 3-0 victory. In the bronze medal game, Taiwan pummeled China 10-0.
China won women’s basketball, defeating the combined Koreas women’s team 71-65. Shao Ting topped China’s scorers with 17 points. Lim Yunghui was the top Korean scorer with 24. Park Ji-su had 15.
The women’s squad included nine South Koreans and three from North Korea.
Dragon boat races delivered a gold medal and two bronze medals for the combined Koreas teams during the games – the feel-good story of the Asian Games.
China’s men’s basketball team also took gold, defeating Iran 84-72.
As expected, China swept all five gold medals in table tennis at the Asian Games including the two singles finals on Saturday. Both finals were all-China finals.
Fan Zhendong defeated Lin Gaoyuan in the men’s final, and for the women Chen Meng beat Wang Manyu.
Kazakhstan defeated Japan 8-7 to take the men’s gold in water polo.
Amit Panghal pulled off a massive upset to outbox the 2016 Rio Olympic champion and win gold for India , but it was Uzbekistan who became new lords of the Asian Games ring.
Kazakhstan had been the dominant force four years ago in Incheon winning six titles, but they handed the baton to Uzbekistan who had boxers in all seven men’s finals and took home five golds.
Amit, 22, kicked off finals day in pulsating fashion with the performance of the Games, edging a 3-2 split decision to take revenge on Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusantov for defeat in last year’s World Championship light flyweight quarter-final.
Amit kept his distance from the reigning Olympic and Asian champion and 2017 world silver medallist, picking off the Uzbek and never allowing him to get in close where his quick hands and inside work are most dangerous.
Uzbekistan underlined their supremacy in Asian boxing, after winning nine golds at last year’s continental championships.
They got off the mark with gold in the next bout when flyweight Jasurbek Latipov was ahead on points when Rogen Ladon of the Philippines was stopped because of a cut in the second round.
The unlucky Ladon, who had nursed his wound above the left eye through the quarter- and semifinals, was examined by the ringside doctor who determined he could not continue and Latipov took it 3-1, with one card level.
The Uzbek gold march was halted, temporarily, when Mongolia’s Erdenebat Tsendbaatar earned lightweight gold on a 3-2 split decision over Shunkor Abdurasulov.
But with Uzbek International Boxing Association president Gafur Rakhimov ringside, Ikboljon Khodarov repeated his 2017 Asian Championship light welterweight final win over Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh on a unanimous 5-0 decision. Uzbekistan’s Bobo Usmon Baturov (welterweight) and Israil Madrimov (middleweight) rounded off their five-gold haul.
Jumpei Furuya extended Japan’s Asian Games triathlon winning streak on Saturday as the 2020 Olympics hosts neared their record total of gold medals on the last day of full competition.
The 27-year-old completed the Olympic-distance course in Palembang, where he won last year’s Asian title, in 1hr 49min 43sec, 55 seconds ahead of Kazakhstan’s Ayan Beisenbayev with Li Mingxu of China third.
After Yuko Takahashi won the women’s race on Friday, Japan have now completed their third straight triathlon double, as well as the inaugural mixed title in 2014.
Sunday’s mixed race in the swimming, biking and running event will be the 465th and final gold medal at the 18th Asian Games, rounding off two weeks of competition in 40 sports in Indonesia.