Korea puts up good fight, still falls shy of gold medal target

Over the first five days of the medal race at the 19th Asian Games in China, Korea picked up 24 gold medals, winning five golds each on four of those five days. The country was not able to sustain that momentum, however, as it collected 18 more gold medals over the final 10 days of the competition in and around the main host city of Hangzhou. A third of those 18 came on Saturday, the penultimate day of the Asiad, as Korea finished with 42 golds, 59 silvers and 89 bronzes. The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC) had set out to bring home 45 to 50 gold medals and finish in third place behind the two Asian sporting giants, China and Japan. Korea finished second in the medal tables at every Asiad from 1998 to 2014, and that streak was snapped in 2018, when Japan finished in second place with 75 gold medals, 26 more than Korea.

The KSOC acknowledged it would be difficult to topple Japan this time and the more realistic goal would be to narrow the gap with the rival nation.At least that part of the equation was a success, as Japan finished with 52 gold medals. Korea did win more medals overall than Japan, 190 to 188.Korea’s early gold medals mostly came from two sports: fencing and taekwondo.The nation’s very first gold medal was won in taekwondo’s poomsae, and Korea ended up winning five gold medals in its traditional martial art.Korea led all countries with six gold medals in fencing, which also produced a pair of double gold medalists: Choi In-jeong in the women’s 스포츠토토존 individual and team epee, and Oh Sang-uk in the men’s individual and team sabre.

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