Qatar's Ogunode sets Asian mark in blistering 100m


INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - Qatar's Femi Ogunode broke the 10-second mark at the Asian Games for the first time, splashing his way through the rain to 100 meters gold on Sunday, while South Korea's big-hitting baseball team finally overcame stubborn Taiwan to win a tense final 6-3.

On a day when China smashed through the 100 gold medal mark, and second-placed South Korea put daylight between themselves and rivals Japan, Ogunode blasted out of the blocks and motored home ahead of China's Su Bingtian and Japan's Kei Takase.

Originally hailing from Nigeria, Ogunode won the 200-400 double four years ago and is going for the 100-200 in Incheon.

While his task was made easier by the withdrawal of Japan's Yoshihide Kiryu due to injury, his time of 9.93 seconds in atrocious conditions confirmed his status as Asia's fastest man.

"I had always confidence in myself," he said at a news conference. "I don’t know what to say. So grateful and so happy. After four months of training, I am now looking forward to going back home to meet my family."

In the women's blue riband sprint, China's Wei Yongli pipped Japan's Chisato Fukushima by a hundredth of a second, with Kazakhstan's Olga Safronova another hundredth back in third.

"I didn't think I could be the champion," said Wei. "I had a very good coach from America."

Bahrain's Ruth Jebet finally got her hands on a gold medal after her disqualification from the women's steeplechase the previous night was overturned.

The Kenyan-born 17-year-old had momentarily stepped off the track during her run at the Asiad Main Stadium and was then stunningly stripped of her gold medal while waiting for the prize-giving ceremony and had to be led away in tears.

However, reviews later showed that her infraction had not impeded any of her competitors and the decision was reversed, allowing Jebet to stand atop the podium at a rearranged ceremony on Sunday.

"I was quite shocked because I wasn't even aware of the mistake," she said at a news conference. "I'm happy to become a gold medallist because I had a problem yesterday. But I fought for my king. I was waiting for the gold."

LATE PENALTY

After nine days of competition, China are out of sight at the top of the medals table on 105 golds.

South Korea, who have finished runners-up at the last four Games, look likely to do so again after finishing the day with 42 golds, eight more than Japan.

The Northeast Asian rivals went head-to-head in the quarter-finals of the men's football tournament on Sunday, with the hosts coming out on top 1-0 after scoring a late penalty kick.

Japanese captain Ryota Oshima inexplicably bundled Lee Jong-ho over in the box, leaving the South Korean substitute with blood streaming for his nose, and Jang Hyun-soo slammed home the spot kick to the delight of more than 43,000 fans at Munhak Stadium.

"I think we tend to score more goals in the second half than the first because our players are physically stronger," Korean coach Lee Kwang-jong told a news conference.

South Korean fans also got the baseball gold medal they had been demanding after the hosts capitalised on a late meltdown by Taiwan to score four runs in the eighth inning.

Taiwan's Lo Chia Jen hit Kang Jung-ho with a pitch in the eighth with the bases loaded to tie the score at 3-3, before Na Sung-bum's grounder brought across the go-ahead run and Hwang Jae-gyun smacked a two-run single to make it 6-3.

South Korea, who also beat Taiwan in the 2010 final in Guangzhou, have now won four of the six baseball golds since the sport was introduced to the Games in 1994.

AN HONOUR

Badminton world number one Lee Chong Wei missed his last chance to win Asian Games gold after falling to his great adversary, Lin Dan, in the semi-finals on Sunday.

The 31-year-old is winding down a career that has seen him win more than 50 career titles and crowned the world's top player, but the search for that elusive major title goes on.

"This is my last Asian Games, so I tried my best," said a disappointed Lee.

Lin was all that stood between Lee and Olympic gold both in London and Beijing but the Chinese sensation always had the best of him at the Games. He also beat him in the final of the world championships twice and denied him gold at the last Asian Games in Guangzhou.

"Lee Chong Wei is the greatest competitor," said Lin. "It was my honour to compete with him."

Women's doubles gold medallist Greysia Polii of Indonesia told Reuters she had been on the verge of quitting badminton after being expelled from the London Olympics in a 'match-fixing' scandal that rocked the sport.

Polii and then partner Meiliana Jauhari were one of four teams thrown out of the London Games after trying to throw matches and secure easier passage through the competition.

"After the Olympic tragedy I almost gave up badminton," she told Reuters in an interview on Sunday. "I almost quit my career. I didn't want to continue."

Two years later, after beating Japanese pair Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo in the Asian Games final, she is looking forward to getting the chance to make up for the London fiasco.

"Our goal is we will go for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro," she said. "Along the way ... we will continue to keep playing more consistently and then to aim for next year’s World Championship in Indonesia."

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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