Taiwanese tennis players Chan Yan-jan and her younger sister Chan Hao-ching were on opposite sides of the net yesterday in the final of the mixed doubles at the 2013 East Asian Games in Tianjin, China, with the latter ending victorious.
Chan Hao-ching and Lee Hsin-han beat Chan Yan-jan and Yang Tsung-hua 6-2, 7-5 at the Tianjin International Tennis Center to give Taiwan both gold and silver in the event.
Tennis has been Taiwan’s biggest strength in the sixth and last East Asian Games, which is to be replaced by a youth version open to athletes aged between 14 and 18. The new East Asian Youth Games is to be staged for the first time in 2019.
Earlier in the day, Taiwanese players Chan Chin-wei and Lee Ya-hsuan defeated China’s Yang Zhaoxuan and Liu Chang 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles, giving them a place in today’s final where they are to face the Chan sisters.
In the men’s events, two Taiwanese duos — Huang Liang-chi and Yang Tsung-hua, and Lee Hsin-han and Peng Hsien-yin — both made it to the final.
Taiwan had already won two gold medals in the tennis women’s and men’s team events that were held on Monday.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese athletes picked up another three bronze medals in different events yesterday and just missed out on a fourth.
In the women’s team epee fencing Chiang Chia-ling Cheng Ya-wen, Lai Yu-ting and Hsu Jo-ting won bronze. Hong Kong also claimed a bronze medal, while China scooped gold and South Korea silver.
Taiwan’s women’s hockey team landed bronze by beating Hong Kong, while Japan took the gold medal and China the silver.
Female athletes also won the day’s other medal for Taiwan, with Cheng I-ching and Huang Yi-hua combining to win bronze in the women’s table tennis doubles. Chen Meng and Zhu Yuling of China won gold, while South Korea’s Park Young-sook and Yang Hae-un had to settle for silver. North Korea’s Kim Hye-jong and Kim Jong also claimed a bronze medal.
Taiwanese swimmers failed to land any medals in yesterday’s seven swimming finals, although Bing Rong-cai finished fourth in the men’s 200m breaststroke.
There was better news on the volleyball court, where Taiwan defeated South Korea in the men’s competition to reach today’s final where they will face Japan, victors over China.
By Paul Huang
Surrendering a two-run lead in the top of the ninth, Taiwan dropped their second game in a row in a 5-3 defeat against South Korea at the Tianjin Sports Center’s baseball field yesterday afternoon to close out the preliminaries of the East Asian Games on a down note.
Similar to Thursday’s loss against the hosts from China, the Islanders took an early lead in the bottom of the second when Chen Wei-chih drove in three with a two-out, bases-loaded double to spot his team a quick 3-0 advantage.
Even though South Korea would get a run back against Taiwanese starter Yang Chih-lung on the merits of three singles in the top of the third, the Islanders seemed well in control of the game, with reliever Huang Sheng-hsiung who entered with one out in the top of the fourth pitching two-hit ball through the eighth to keep the South Korean hitters at bay.
However, with the victory just one out away in the top of the ninth, the lefty out of the Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science suddenly lost his pin-point control as he hit a South Korean batter to allow a runner to reach home, before serving up five consecutive singles in a four-run scoring spree that turned the two-run lead into a two-run deficit.
Taiwan’s final gasp in the bottom of the ninth proved futile as South Korea stood its ground to hand the favorites their second straight defeat.
“I guess I was so much in a hurry to end the game that I lost control of my pitches,” a very disappointed Huang said after the game.
He would take the loss on the day that cost Taiwan the top-seed berth in today’s semi-finals.
The Islanders are to take on Japan in a semi-final game today at noon, where the winner will advance into tomorrow’s title game against the winner in the other semi-final contest between South Korea and China.
Staff ace Wang Yao-lin will get the call in an effort to carry his team into the title game.