Korntawat heroics seal two medals

Korntawat heroics seal two medals

Aphinya, Orasa grab bronze in canoeing

Thai equestrian Korntawat Samran, second left, and his teammates celebrate with their medals in the eventing competition at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday.
Thai equestrian Korntawat Samran, second left, and his teammates celebrate with their medals in the eventing competition at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday.

The Thai equestrian team won two medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games in China on Monday.

Korntawat Samran finished runner-up in the individual eventing competition which paved the way for him and teammates -- Supap Khaw-ngam, Preecha Khunjan and Weerapat Pitakanonda -- to claim third place in the team contest.

Riding Billy Elmy, Korntawat conceded a total of 27.90 penalty points and finished second behind China's Hua Tian (27).

Japan's Kazuhior Yoshizawa (28.6) took bronze.

The team event was won by China (86.80), ahead of Japan (92.70) and Thailand (93.90).

In canoeing, Thailand's Aphinya Sroichit and Orasa Thiangkathok came in third in the women's double 500m event.

The duo crossed the finished line in 2:08.257 minutes behind winners Sun Mengya and Xu Shixiao of China (2:01.409) and Kazakhstan's Mariya Brovkova and Rufina Iskakova (2:08.125).

In volleyball, the Thai women comfortably beat Mongolia 25-14, 25-20, 25-12 for their second win in as many games to reach the second round.

Thailand aim to get 15-23 gold medals at the 19th Asian Games which end on Oct 8. They won 11 titles at the 2018 tournament in Indonesia.

Elsewhere on Monday, North Korean weightlifter Kim Il-Gyong broke a world record for the third women's event running at Hangzhou 2022.

Kim, who appears to have last competed internationally as a 14-year-old junior in 2018, set a new snatch record of 111kg on her way to gold in the women's 59kg class.

The 20-year-old then hoisted 135kg in the clean and jerk to finish on a 246kg total and condemn China's Luo Shifang to silver with former snatch world record-holder Kuo Hsing-chun of Taiwan in third.

North Korean weightlifters have not taken part in international competition since 2019 after the country's borders were sealed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When they were scheduled to return to action at a meeting in Cuba in June, rival lifters strongly objected, saying the North Koreans have not been dope-tested since 2019.

The World Anti-Doping Authority (Wada) sanctioned North Korea after declaring its national anti-doping body "non-compliant" in 2021.

The sanctions remain to this day and included, in theory, not flying the North Korean flag at any regional, continental or world sports event, excluding the Olympics and Paralympics.

Yet their flag was carried at the opening ceremony in Hangzhou and their weightlifters have proudly saluted it on the podium, often in tears.

North Korea did not take part in the Tokyo Olympics of 2021, citing the pandemic, and were then barred from the 2022 Beijing Winter Games for skipping Tokyo.

Meanwhile, South Korean rollerskater Jung Cheol-Won committed a cardinal sin of sports by celebrating too early, with his "big mistake" costing his country an Asian Games gold medal.

Jung was left red-faced after being the anchor for his three-man team in the men's 3,000m relay final at Qintang Roller Sports Centre.

Thinking he had easily beaten Huang Yu-lin, he eased up and raised his arms in celebration, only for the Taiwanese skater to lunge with his leg across the line first in 4min 05.692sec to win by one hundredth of a second.

"I made a rather big mistake. I didn't come at full speed to the finish line. I let my guard down too early," said a sheepish Jung.

"I am very sorry. I apologise to my teammates and to our fans who supported us.

"We all worked very hard together for this, and it's all my fault."

Taiwan's Huang said it was a "miracle" that he won, with his coach drumming it into him that you never give up.

"I realised they were celebrating, but I wanted to tell them, while you were celebrating, I was still fighting," he said. bangkok post/afp

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