ISHARA S. KODIKARA/ AFP
India won their first golds and North Koreans stirred up drama by snubbing their South Korean rivals on the podium on day two of the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday.
Some 12,400 athletes from 45 nations are competing for 481 gold medals in 40 sports at the Games in the eastern Chinese city, which were delayed by a year due to COVID-19 measures.
India’s first gold came in the men’s 10 metre air rifle team before their women’s cricketers beat Sri Lanka by 19 runs to clinch a second gold, the country’s first in cricket since the sport joined the quadrennial Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010.
Earlier the Bangladesh women’s cricket team beat Pakistan in the bronze match to claim the country’s first Asian Games medal since 2014 at Incheon, South Korea.
Cricket, which has hopes of becoming an Olympic sport, returned to the Asian Games this year after being omitted from the last edition in Indonesia in 2018.
Esports, which is huge in China, is a medal event at the Asian Games for the first time and the participation of Lee Sang-hyeok – known by his gaming handle ‘Faker’ – has given the competition’s profile a big boost.
The South Korean did not disappoint his legions of fans on Monday, helping his team beat Kazakhstan 1-0 in one of the preliminary matches in the ‘League of Legends’ category.
Elsewhere on day two of competition, three North Korean marksmen refused to join their South Korean rivals in a group photo of medal winners after narrowly missing out on gold in a men’s team shooting competition.
China picked up golds in artistic gymnastics, swimming, skateboarding, taekwondo, mountain biking, fencing, wushu, shooting and rowing.
But Uzbekistan stole some of their thunder by pipping the hosts to gold in the men’s four and women’s single skulls.
The single skulls winner, Anna Prakaten, came into the event with some pedigree having won silver at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 while representing the Russian Olympic Committee.
Another who upset China’s party was Thailand’s Panipak Wongpattanakit who leapt for joy after beating local fighter Guo Qing 2-1 in a tight and dramatic contest in the women’s -49kg taekwondo final.
It was Thailand’s first gold of the Games and triggered a roar of delight from several Thai journalists watching in the Games’ media centre.
“My dad and my whole family are very happy,” said Olympic and former world champion Wongpattanakit following a fight that included a delay in the final round while officials debated a points decision and a late comeback to snatch the victory.
In the pool several Games records tumbled including the women’s 200m freestyle where Hong Kong’s Siobhan Bernadette Haughey won in one minute 54.12 smashing the previous mark by over two seconds but shy of her Asian record at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I guess I was hoping for a little faster time, but it’s not too far off my best time, so I’m still happy with it,” she said.
The youngsters stole the show at the skate park, including nine-year-old Mazel Paris Alegado from the Philippines, who is reported to be the youngest athlete at the Games.
“It was really fun,” she said after her seventh-placed finish in the women’s park, an event won by Japan’s Hinano Kusaki. “I’m really proud that I got here.”
China has pulled out all the stops to ensure a smooth event, its first major sporting competition since the country ended its “zero-COVID” policy in late 2022.
Australia, South Africa crowned champions at Dubai 7s – ARN News Centre
Australia and South Africa won both the women’s and men’s tournaments at the Dubai 7s weekend.
For the first time the series, also known as the HSBC SVNS, the tournament featured equal numbers of men’s and women’s teams competing in each leg of the competition.
Women’s Rio 2016 Olympic champions Australia got off to a flying start on Saturday with victories over Brazil (39-0), Japan (66-0), and Ireland (33-5).
On Sunday the Pearls beat USA 32-5 in the quarter-finals, before edging past France 21-14 in the semi-final to set up a final match against their oldest rivals, and reigning series champions, New Zealand.
Australia clinched the winning try through flying winger Maddison Levi, sealing the game 26-19 and top spot in the rankings.
Olympic Games Paris 2024 hosts France beat Canada 26-5 in the third place play-off.
— HSBC SVNS (@SVNSSeries) December 3, 2023
South Africa’s men’s team opened their season with victories over Samoa (22-14), Canada (35-14), and previous champions New Zealand (21-19) in the group stage.
After comfortably dispatching Australia 24-7 in the quarter-finals on day two, they shocked two-time reigning Olympic champions Fiji 14-7 in the semi-finals.
The defending champions beat Argentina 12-7 in a thumping encounter to claim their fifth straight Emirates Dubai 7s title.
Unstoppable in Dubai 🎆
— HSBC SVNS (@SVNSSeries) December 3, 2023
More from Sports
Fernandez double helps 10-man Chelsea to 3-2 win over Brighton – ARN News Centre
First Chelsea Premier League goals from Enzo Fernandez and Levi Colwill earned the 10-man home side a 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at a rain-sodden Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea played the entire second half a player down after captain Conor Gallagher picked up two yellow cards, but World Cup-winning Argentine Fernandez kept them in front with a goal in each half.
Fernandez, who had only previously scored in the League Cup, headed home a neat overhead kick from defender Benoit Badiashile in the 17th minute.
Colwill, on loan at Brighton last season, made it two four minutes later from a Nicolas Jackson headed pass. It was the former Chelsea junior’s first senior goal for his side but he chose not to celebrate in front of the travelling fans.
Chelsea looked to be cruising but Brighton pulled one back two minutes from halftime through a curling shot by Facundo Buonanotte.
Then Gallagher slid in on former Chelsea team mate Billy Gilmour and was dismissed by referee Craig Pawson.
Brighton pressed Chelsea in numbers at the start of the second half, trying to make their advantage tell but substitute James Milner could not keep up with Mykhailo Mudryk on the counter and brought him down.
After a six minute delay for a VAR check, Fernandez scored his second from the penalty spot in the 65th minute.
Brighton’s Joao Pedro made sure of a nervy run-in during time added-on when he scored with a glancing header in the 92nd minute after sustained pressure from the visiting side.
They peppered the Chelsea goal for the last hectic 10 minutes and Chelsea had Robert Sanchez to thank for keeping the score in check.
Pascal Gross had three good chances saved by the Spanish keeper in regulation time and he also kept out a Joao Pedro effort in the 99th minute.
A final twist in the tail sent Pawson to the VAR monitor for a second time after he indicated a penalty for a handball from Colwill as Chelsea defended desperately with every player behind the ball.
The replays showed the Chelsea man had been hit in the face rather than on the arm by the ball and the decision was overturned.
The result sent Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea up a place to 10th in the table, three points behind Brighton in eighth.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 3, 2023
Man City held again in six-goal Spurs thriller, Liverpool move second – ARN News Centre
A Sunday goal glut ended with champions Manchester City drawing a third successive Premier League game as they were held 3-3 at home by injury-hit Tottenham Hotspur to slip to third place in the table, three points behind leaders Arsenal.
The five games produced 24 goals, the last of which was headed home by Spurs winger Dejan Kulusevski in the 90th-minute at the Etihad Stadium to deny Pep Guardiola’s side victory.
Liverpool moved a point above City into second spot as they scored twice late on to turn around a 3-2 deficit at home to Fulham and win 4-3 with Trent Alexander-Arnold sealing victory.
Ten-man Chelsea beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 at Stamford Bridge while fourth-placed Aston Villa needed a late Ollie Watkins goal to scrape a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.
West Ham United drew 1-1 at home to Crystal Palace.
City have now gone three games without a win in the league for the first time in six years as once again their nemesis Tottenham caused Guardiola’s side a headache.
Despite winning three successive titles, City have now beaten Spurs only once in their last five meetings.
Substitute Jack Grealish’s 81st-minute goal looked to have secured City victory but Kulusevski headed in Brennan Johnson’s cross to reward Ange Postecoglou’s side’s risk-taking approach and move them back up to fifth, six points off the pace.
What a game at the Etihad.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 3, 2023
Tottenham’s Son Heung-min had opened the scoring in the sixth minute on the counter-attack but then levelled for City as a cross bounced off him into the net three minutes later.
Phil Foden gave City the lead and they twice hit the woodwork in a dominant first half but Giovani Lo Celso equalised after the break with a sublime low shot.
In a frantic conclusion Guardiola’s side were furious deep in stoppage time when Grealish was through on goal but play was stopped for a foul on Erling Haaland during the build-up.
“It is hard when you review the image, the referee decides to blow the whistle after he has already said to play on. After the pass, the whistle, so I do not understand this action,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“It was a good game. It is a pity. Sometimes football is like life, you do not get what you deserve.”
Arsenal, who beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 on Saturday, lead the table with 33 points from 14 games, with Liverpool on 31 and Manchester City on 30.