DOHA – Three golds in karate highlighted Japan’s medal haul at the Asian Games on Tuesday, as Tetsuya Furukawa and Nao Morooka won kata events and Tomoko Araga took the women’s 53-kg kumite title, but the women’s volleyball team had to settle for silver after a four-set loss to China.
Tuesday at the Asian Games in Doha. Japan finished fourth.
Furukawa beat Malaysia’s Ku Jin Keat 5-0 in the men’s final, while Morooka defeated Vietnam’s Nguyen Hoang Ngan by the same score in the women’s gold medal match. The victories in the kata, where karate techniques are performed against imaginary opponents, were followed by an emphatic win by two-time world champion Araga who outscored Ma Marna Pabillore of the Philippines 9-1 in the final of her class in combat events.
In women’s volleyball Athens Olympic champion China came from a set down to win the final 22-25, 25-10, 25-23, 25-16 and take its third straight Asian Games title, dashing Japan’s hopes of winning a first Asian Games gold since 1978 and extending its winning streak against Japan to 17 matches.
On the last day of athletics, Japan also failed to win gold but ended with four silver and two bronze medals.
Naoki Tsukahara, Shingo Suetsugu, Yusuke Omae and Shinji Takahira got off to a quick start in the men’s 4×100 relay but made errors passing the baton, allowing Thailand to edge them for gold in a photo finish in 39.21 seconds. Japan also took silver in the women’s 4×100 in 44.87, with China winning in 44.33 and Taiwan earning bronze after Thailand was disqualified for a botched baton pass.
In the women’s 1,500 meters, Yuriko Kobayashi won silver to celebrate her 18th birthday in a time of 4:14.96, as Bahrain’s Maryam Yusuf Jamal claimed gold in 4:08.63 and India’s Sinimole Puaulose bronze in 4:15.09, while in the men’s javelin Yukifumi Murakami won his second straight Asian Games silver with a throw of 78.15. Park Jae Myoung of South Korea took gold in 79.30, while China’s Li Rongxiang (76.13) failed to defend his title and could only manage bronze.
Ikuko Nishikori soared to 4.15 meters in the women’s pole vault to share bronze with China’s Zhao Yingying, as gold went to Gao Shuying of China with 4.30 on her first attempt and silver to Malaysia’s Samsu Roslinda, who hit the same mark on her third try.
Masato Naito also took bronze in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, won by Athens Olympics champion and world record holder Liu Xiang of China in 13.15 with compatriot Shi Dongpeng in second place.
But Japan came in fourth in both the men’s and women’s 4×400 relays, with the men left to rue a bad baton exchange.
There was silver for Japan in archery as Tomokazu Wakino was edged in the final of the men’s individual competition 108-101 by South Korea’s Im Dong Hyun, while two Japanese sailors also won silver — Yoichi Iijima in the men’s laser with 31 marks, behind winner Soh Khyan Tat Maximilian of Singapore on 22, and Haruka Komiya in the women’s optimist class on 31, with Tan Rufina Hong Mui of Malaysia taking gold on 24.
In fencing Japan took bronze in the women’s saber team event, losing to China 45-40 in the semifinals, while the Japanese men also took bronze in the team foil after losing their semifinal by the same score to South Korea.
In the diving pool, Ken Terauchi nabbed a bronze medal in the men’s 1-meter springboard with 419.75 points, behind Chinese pair Luo Yutong, who took gold with 466.10, and Qin Kai, who nailed silver on 439.90.
And in the men’s individual trampoline, Shunsuke Nagasaki also won bronze with a total of 38.80 points, but Japan’s world No. 1 Yasuhiro Ueyama placed fourth. China’s Que Zhicheng took gold with 39.50 and countryman Lu Chunlong silver with 39.10. In the women’s final, Haruka Hirota missed out on a medal in fourth place.
In tennis, Aiko Nakamura took a consolation bronze after a 6-3, 6-2 loss to China’s Zheng Jie in the women’s singles semifinals, while Go Soeda also had to settle for bronze as his gold-medal hopes were ended by Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke 6-0, 2-6, 6-2.