Fri, Feb 04, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Hosts strike gold again at Asian Winter Games

AFP, ALMATY, Kazakhstan

Yuliya Rodionova of Kazakhstan rides on a sledge yesterday after a fall during the Asian Winter Games ladies’ freestyle skiing dual moguls qualification outside Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Photo: REUTERS

Hosts’ Kazakhstan dominated the day’s action at the Asian Winter Games yesterday adding four gold medals to their impressive collection to stay on top with 17 golds and 46 medals overall.

South Korea failed to add to their gold haul, but remain in second place with 10 gold and 24 medals in total.

Meanwhile, Japan stayed in the race for the lead in the medal table with their skiers winning two golds to lift their country into third position with eight gold medals.

Japanese skier Masako Ishida recorded the first win of the day finishing first in the rain-hit women’s 5km classic style course with a time of 16 minutes 10.3 seconds.

The winner of the men’s 10km classic distance in nordic skiing, Keishin Yoshida of Japan, who won the 15km freestyle race on Wednesday, also had to battle with a soaked course and rain but he managed to adjust his skiing to the weather conditions better than his rivals to win his second gold medal of the games finishing ahead of two local skiers — Nikolay Chebotko and Alexey Poltoranin.

“I experienced problems with my skis at the very beginning so I had to force myself to speed up later though it was very hard to slide along the course fighting against the strong wind and melting snow,” Yoshida said.

The bandy match between hosts Kazakhstan, who are red hot favorites for the gold medals, and Kyrgyzstan was in danger as the snowfall and the fog, which descended from the surrounding mountains, seriously threatened the technical services at the Medeu ice rink.

After the officials decided to play the match in a three 30-minute periods format, the Kazakh team had few troubles against their opponents clinching a confident 21-0 win.

Unfavorable weather conditions also forced the organizers to postpone the men’s alpine skiing Super Combined event and the women’s 15km individual biathlon competition until today.

Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva won her second gold medal of the Games beating compatriot Yulia Rodionova in the final of the freestyle parallel mogul discipline. Miki Ito of Japan won bronze.

Another Kazakh freestyler, Dmitriy Barmashov, added gold by winning the men’s parallel mogul. He beat Osamu Ueno of Japan in the final with another Japanese, Yugo Tsukita, in third.

In ski orienteering local favorite Olga Novikova won her third gold medal, finishing first in the women’s long distance 17 minutes ahead of second-placed compatriot Yevgenia Kuzmina, while South Korea’s Kim Ja-youn was third.

Mikhail Sorokin also completed a hat-trick winning all three distances in the men’s section of ski orienteering. Alexey Nemtsev was second, while Gerelt-Od Bayaraa of Mongolia won his second bronze medal.

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