MISAWA, Aomori Pref. – South Korean teenager Ahn Hyun Soo powered to victory in the men’s 1,000 meters Friday to capture his second gold medal in short-track speedskating at the Winter Asian Games.
Double Olympic champion Yang Yang (A) also completed a golden double in leading a Chinese 1-2 finish in the women’s 1,000 at Misawa Ice Arena.
Ahn, who upstaged Olympic silver medalist Li Jiajun in the 1,500 final on Thursday, outpaced the field again in a fiercely contested encounter to cross the finish line in 1 minute, 31.142 seconds.
Ahn kept his cool to edge out China’s Li Ye (1:31.202) with Satoru Terao earning an unexpected bronze for Japan. Terao finished fastest in the B final.
There was no such controversy in the women’s final as Yang moved to the front of the pack with two laps remaining and never looked back, cruising home in 1:33.302.
In skiing, Austria-born skier Niki Fuerstauer gave Lebanon its first-ever Winter Asian Games gold, outpacing a Japanese trio with the fastest times in both runs to win the men’s giant slalom.
Fuerstauer, silver medalist in Sunday’s slalom, clocked 1 minute, 5.69 seconds to grab a lead of 0.35 after the first run and sealed his victory with a second run of 1:02.50 as he edged Japan’s Tetsuya Otaki by 0.77 with a total time of 2:08.19 at the Owani piste.
“I feel incredible right now,” said Fuerstauer, who holds dual nationality. “My name may have a Germanic ring to it but I’m competing as a Lebanese. I hope the people of Lebanon will be happy with this gold medal.”
Slalom bronze medalist Otaki took silver with times of 1:06.04 and 1:02.92 and Masami Kudo won bronze 0.02 further back.
In cross country, Japan denied Kazakstan a clean sweep of cross country gold medals as the hosts won the men’s 4×10-km relay.
The Japanese team of Katsuhito Ebisawa, Hiroyuki Imai, Mitsuo Horigome and Masaaki Kozu crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 43 minutes, 49.2 seconds for their first victory in the seventh and final event of the games’ cross country skiing.
In Thursday’s ski jumping competition, South Korea stunned former Olympic champion Japan by claiming a gold in the team event.
Despite having only six top-level ski jumpers in the whole country, the South Korean quartet of Kim Hyun Ki, Choi Heung Chul, Choi Yong Jik and Kang Chil Ku beat the 1998 Nagano Olympic gold medalists to seal victory with a 952.0 points total.
“This means I won’t have to go into the army and so I can devote more of my time to jumping,” said Kim, referring to the fact that all South Korean gold medalists at these games gain exemption from compulsory military service.
With individual champion Kazuyoshi Funaki and silver medalist Akira Higashi in the squad, Japan began as odds-on favorite but could only manage silver on 923.0 despite Funaki registering the day’s longest jump of 98 meters on the K-90 hill in Owani.
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