Sat, Oct 04, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Wen Tzu-yun wins nation’s ninth gold

GOLDEN GIRL:The 21-year-old cruised to a 7-1 victory in the final, but it was her performance against world No. 1 Miki Kobayashi in the semi-finals that stood out

Staff writer, with CNA and Reuters, INCHEON, South Korea

Taiwan’s Wen Tzu-yun, left, fights Sabina Zakharova of Kazakhstan in the women’s under-55kg karate final at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Taiwan’s Wen Tzu-yun won her country’s ninth gold medal of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, yesterday with a decisive victory in the final of the women’s under-55kg karate.

The 21-year-old Wen, whose best result in international competition previously was a third place at the East Asian Games last year, cruised past Sabina Zakharova of Kazakhstan 7-1 to take the gold.

However, it was actually Wen’s semi-final bout that stood out, when the unsung Wen shocked world No. 1 Miki Kobayashi of Japan.

The two finished tied 7-7 on points, but Wen was given the decision by all five judges.

Taiwan also won a bronze medal in the karate when Chao Jou captured the women’s under-68kg bronze medal against Nour Abusalah of Jordan by a 4-1 judges decision after the two were tied 2-2 on points.

Taiwanese athletes also added to the nation’s medal tally in taekwondo, taking silver and bronze in two men’s categories.

Baby-faced Huang Yu-jen took silver in the men’s under-54kg weight class, falling to world No. 1 Kim Tae-hun of South Korea 14-3.

The 17-year-old Taiwanese was unable to mount much of a defense against Kim’s barrage of lightning-fast and precise kicks, or put any pressure on his rival.

The 20-year-old Kim, who won the Asian Championships in Tashkent in May, had coasted through his draw before his battle with Huang, winning his three previous bouts by 13, 12 and 15 points.

Huang reached the final through a tense semi-final bout against Thai opponent Ramnarong Sawekwiharee, striking when it counted most.

Nursing a 5-4 lead, he delivered a three-point kick to his rival’s face with about 25 seconds left in the final round that made the difference in his 8-5 win.

The bronze medal was won by Nantou County native Wei Chen-yang.

Wei had described winning a gold medal in the men’s under-58kg division at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou as his most memorable sporting achievement and he had hoped to repeat as Asian Games champion in Incheon.

However, he was forced to settle for bronze after he lost to the winner of the Asian Championships, Farzan Ashour Zadeh Fallah of Iran, 13-6 in the semi-finals.

Wei went into the Games with high expectations, having won the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Kazakhstan at the end of August by defeating the 17-year-old Iranian 9-5 in the final, but he had trouble parrying the aggressive attacks of Ashour Zadeh Fallah yesterday, falling behind 4-0 to one- and three-point kicks in the first round.

Wei pulled it back to 5-4 early in the second round, but was hit by another three-point kick to the face later in the round that put the Iranian comfortably ahead and deflated Wei’s morale.

After his defeat, Wei announced he plans to retire from the sport, saying he wants to take a break for a while and then finish his graduate degree at National Taiwan University of Sport.

Taekwondo is traditionally one of Taiwan’s stronger sports and at this year’s Games the nation won seven taekwondo medals. South Korea won 10, while China picked up nine.

In the soft tennis, both Taiwan’s men’s and women’s teams qualified for today’s semi-finals yesterday.

The men’s team defeated Vietnam 2-0, Nepal 2-0, Indonesia 3-0 and China 2-0 in their Group A matches to set up a semi-final against Japan, while the women’s team beat Mongolia 2-0, then fell to a 2-1 defeat to China to qualify for a semi-final against South Korea.

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