Martial artist Hsu Kai-kuei yesterday added another gold to the nation’s medal count at the Taipei Summer Universiade with an unshakable performance in the wushu men’s combined taolu.
Hsu stepped onto the floor for his nanquan routine in good position, having secured first place in Sunday’s nangun competition with a score of 9.62.
Hsu’s solid stances and fluid transitions in the vigorous “southern fist” style earned him a score of 9.56, behind only Huang Junhua of Macau with 9.57.
Photo: Kayleigh Madjar, Taipei Times
However, the combination of the two scores was enough to put him ahead of his 11 competitors and secure a place on top of the podium.
Despite a strong showing by Huang yesterday, he failed to make the top three, coming in fifth overall after Sunday’s eighth-place finish.
“I will never forget this day,” Hsu said at a news conference after the competition.
The win was especially meaningful for the 26-year-old, as it is to be his last.
He said that with the victory, he can write a perfect ending to his wushu story.
He plans to teach and promote wushu, Hsu said, adding that he hopes to someday coach Taiwan’s national team to win medals.
Yesterday’s match was the end of a career spanning from junior-high school, when he started practicing wushu after dabbling in karate and swimming in elementary school.
He grew up in his family’s temple watching dintao — a traditional Taiwanese form of temple performance — which inspired his taolu practice, he said.
Wushu taolu is an “overwhelmingly” rigid disciple, but he wanted to incorporate a bit of the dintao he grew up watching, Hsu said, adding that he feels happy that he was able to put a bit of Taiwanese culture into the sport.
He had many words of thanks for his family, who he said have supported him from the beginning.
“Especially this past year, he was always coming and going,” his father said, adding that his son has sacrificed many summer and winter vacations to practice.
To show his appreciation, Hsu draped his medal around his father’s neck to beaming smiles from each.
In other wushu events yesterday morning, Macau and China continued their dominance, with Cai Liuyan and Li Mengnan of China and Li Yi of Macau snagging gold in their respective taolu events.
The sanda events were scheduled for the afternoon, featuring an anticipated matchup between Lin Yi-ju of Taiwan and Jiang Xianting of China.
Jiang proved victorious in the end, defeating Lin 2-0 in the women’s sanda 60kg final.
Iran had a strong showing in the other matchups, with Jafar Shirzadeh Topraghlo defeating Ruslan Libirov of Kazakstan 2-0, and Hamid Reza Ladvar downing Li Shengnan of China 2-0.
Transgender athletes are to have an ally in the White House next week, as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports — although state legislatures, the US Congress and the courts are all expected to have their say this year, too. Attorneys on both sides say they expect US president-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education to switch sides in two key legal battles — one in Connecticut, the other in Idaho — that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by
Fickle winds produced farcical scenes yesterday on day two of the America’s Cup challenger series in Auckland, as the so-called “flying” yachts spent almost as much time in the water as above it. “I’m not sure today is a really accurate read because it’s so puffy, it’s shifty,” British sailing legend Ben Ainslie said after his Ineos Team UK maintained their perfect start to the Prada Cup series with a third straight win. The series would determine which of the 23m yachts — which fly above the water balanced on hi-tech foil arms — would challenge defending champion Team New Zealand for
DOUBLE VISION: The men’s duo of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed the South Korean pairing of Choi Sol-gyu and Seo Seung-jae to secure their place in the final Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying yesterday easily defeated Mia Blichfeldt in her women’s singles match to advance to the finals of the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok, while Chou Tien-chen crashed out of the tournament. Tai quickly ousted world No. 18 Blicheldt, of Denmark, in 34 minutes, winning 21-8, 23-21. The world No. 1 today must overcome Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain, who took down An Se-young of South Korea yesterday 21-18, 21-16. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s Chou fell to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long after a tough 66 minutes of play. While Chou, the world No. 2, bested Ng in the first set,
World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying yesterday eased past her Thai opponent to advance to the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open. The Taiwanese star toppled world No. 46 Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11 in 29 minutes at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. “I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” Tai said. Tomorrow, Tai faces Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. The two have faced each other six times, with Tai beating the world No. 21 in all six matches. Tai on Sunday reached the final of the Yonex Thailand Open before losing decisively against Carolina Marin of Spain.