Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Talk of the day -- Taiwan wins 1st Asian Games gold in China

Taiwan defeated Japan in the finals of the men's soft tennis team event Sunday to win the country's first gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, ending Taiwan's gold drought at any major sporting event held in China since the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing.

The following are excerpts from the local media coverage of the event:

United Daily News:

Taiwan's soft tennis players Lin Ting-chung and Liu Chia-lun pulled off an upset win over their Japanese opponents in the men's team event Sunday, giving the country its first gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games.

In the first of three matches that made up the tie, the Taiwanese duo of Yang Sheng-fa and Li Chia-hung lost to Koji Kobayashi and Hidenori Shinohara 5-2, but Kuo Chia-wei managed to defeat his Japanese rival Keiya Nakamoto 4-3 in the following singles to even things up.

In the final doubles that would decide the gold medal, Lin and Liu dropped the first three sets in the best-of-nine match, but pulled off a dramatic comeback and won the final set to take the match 5-4.

The team broke a curse that had hung over the heads of Taiwanese athletes for 20 years. No local athlete had won a gold medal at any major sporting event in China over the past two decades, spanning the 1990 Beijing Asian Games, the 2001 Beijing Summer Universiade and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Consequently, Taiwan's Olympic flag had never been hoisted and its national flag anthem never played at a medal presentation ceremony in China until Sunday.

Many Taiwanese reporters covering the event were excited to the point of shedding tears as they witnessed the award ceremony.

Because of China's sovereignty claim over Taiwan, the Taiwanese delegation has had to take part in major international sporting events, including the Olympic Games and Asian Games, under the designation of "Chinese Taipei" instead of the country's official national title of "Republic of China." The ROC's national flag and national anthem have also been barred from those occasions. (Nov. 15, 2010). China Times:

Taiwanese athletes performed well Sunday on the second day of the Asian Games, winning one gold, two silver and four bronze medals to help move Taiwan into sixth place among 45 competing nations and areas in the overall medal standings.

Besides clinching the gold medal in the men's soft tennis team event, Taiwan also took home a silver medal in the women's soft tennis team event the same day.

Meanwhile, swimmer Cheng Wan-jung won bronze in the women's 400-meter individual medley, bagging Taiwan's first Asian Games swimming medal since the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. She is also scheduled to compete in the 200-meter butterfly event Monday.

In judo, Wang Chin-fang won silver in the women's under-63 kg. competition, Taiwan's best judo result at the Asian Games in 12 years.

Taiwan's other medal winners on Sunday were Tseng Han-chieh, who took bronze in the men's judo under-90 kg. event, and Lee Wen-jung, who captured bronze in the women's Wushu (martial arts) competition.

The women's billiards squad won bronze in the team snooker competition.

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