South Korea notched double gold in the individual time trials at the Asian Games on Saturday with Choe Hyeong-Min winning the men’s race and Lee Min-Hye coming out on top in the women’s event.
Choe covered the three 17.8-kilometer laps in one hour eight minutes and 16.12 seconds, more than 10 seconds quicker than Eugen Wacker of Kyrgyzstan, with Iran’s Hossein Askari taking the bronze.
In the women’s race, South Korea’s Lee Min-Hye completed the two 17.8-km laps in a time of 49 minutes 38.35 seconds.
Jiang Fan of China took silver, more than 26 seconds adrift, and the bronze went to Thailand’s Chanpeng Nontasin.
Choe, 20, was quick off the mark and set the fastest time in the opening lap of the race. He never trailed, averaging 46.932 kilometers an hour across the whole race.
“I’m very glad. Though I targeted the gold medal before the race, it is still beyond my expectations,” said 2008 Asian champion Choe, turning his attention to the Olympics.
“For the first lap I was a bit nervous and had a bit of a problem with my breathing and heartbeat. So for the second lap I tried to catch my breath and restore my confidence.
“It’s my top priority to win the gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012.”
Wacker, who also finished second at the 2006 Asian Games, said: “It was a tough race and the 53.4-km course was a bit too long for me. I had to prepare well for such a long and hilly course. I’m very pleased with my performance.”
Asian champion, Andrey Mizurov of Kazakhstan, could only finish in sixth place.
In the women’s race Lee, starting last, never trailed around the 35.6-km course, clocking the fastest time on the first of the two laps, averaging 43.030 kilometers an hour.
“I’m very happy right now. I was not as nervous as I was in the 3,000m women’s individual pursuit. I’ve prepared much better than I did for the pursuit race,” said Lee, who finished second in that event.
“The 2012 London Olympics will be my top goal. My biggest barrier might be myself. If I can push myself maybe I can win an Olympic gold,” she added.
The 25-year-old came third in the individual time trial at the 2006 Asian Games, where she also took gold in the individual pursuit.
Silver medalist Jiang was satisfied with her second-placed finish.
“My main discipline is indoor track cycling, and this is my first time in such a major event.”
Japan’s 2006 Asian Games women’s road race champion Mayuko Hagiwara, who crashed on Tuesday during the women’s points race final, finished fifth but denied that incident had affected her race.
Malaysia’s Mariana Mohammad crashed through the barriers during her first lap and was taken to hospital.
1. Choe Hyeong-Min (KOR), 1hr 08min 16.12sec
2. Eugen Wacker (KGZ), 1:08:26.91
3. Hossein Askari (IRI), 1:08:48.49
1. Lee Min-Hye (KOR), 49min 38.35sec
2. Jiang Fan (CHN), 50:04.62
3. Chanpeng Nontasin (THA), 51:37.11