By Agence France Presse
South Korea’s Jang Sun Jae on Thursday became only the third cyclist in Asian Games history, and the first in 36 years, to win three or more golds at the same games.
Jang went into the record books — and celebrated his 22nd birthday in style — when he won the Madison on the last day of action at the ASPIRE velodrome.
He was already a gold medalist in the individual and the team pursuit and on Thursday teamed up with Park Sung Baek to win the Madison with 35 points.
Kazakhstan took silver with Ilya Chernyshov claiming his third medal of the games following his team road race time-trial second place and bronze in the points race.
Iran took bronze in the Madison.
“My hero is Cho Ho Sung,” said Jang. “He won four golds (at three different games) and I am honored to be within one of his haul.”
Chernyshov said he was planning a celebration with teammate Alexey Lyalko, who recovered brilliantly from a fall.
“We’ll find somewhere to drink. Kazakhs always do,” he said.
Korea also won the keirin thanks to Kang Dong Jin, who had already collected two bronzes in the 1km time trial and the team sprint. Malaysia’s Josiah Ng On Lam took silver while Japan’s Hiroyuki Inagaki salvaged something for his country after a disastrous two days of competition by winning the bronze.
“For the first time in my life I shouted with happiness,” said 19-year-old Kang.
The women’s points race saw a shock result as favorite Lee Min Hye of South Korea was beaten by Chinese rookie Li Yan while Chanpeng Nontasin gave Thailand its first-ever medal in the discipline with bronze.
Lee was angry that she missed out on her second gold of the games, having taken the women’s individual pursuit.
“I didn’t race well at all today,” said the 21-year-old, who won four medals at the Asian Championships earlier this year. “I was leading during the race and I expected to win the gold.”
The Japanese – who had seen men’s points favorite Nakoto Ijima finish a disappointing fourth on Wednesday – had a torrid time of it on Thursday, with falls marring their day.
Their chances of a medal in the Madison disappeared when Kazuhiro Mori crashed on the second of eight laps, and despite remounting he was a lap down on the rest.
Their hopes of capturing the women’s points race all but evaporated when national champion Satomi Wadama crashed in the heat.
Wadama’s compatriot Keita Ebine was even less fortunate in the men’s keirin heat when he was dragged high onto the track by South Korea’s Yang Hee Chun, who then clipped Ebine’s wheel, causing him to fall and bring down three other riders.
However, Inagaki reflected the defiant attitude of the Japanese cycling team despite their calamitous Games.
“We will win medals in the Beijing Olympics,” he said after receiving his bronze medal.