Park Snares Second Asian Record, Japan Wins Medal Count as Asian Games Come to a Close

By Jason Marsteller

DOHA, Qatar, December 7. WITH the 15th Asian Games coming to a close in Doha, Qatar on Dec. 7, Swimming World Magazine's Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year Korean Tae Hwan Park claimed his second Asian record of the meet. After setting the 200 free early in the meet, Park bookended the competition with the first sub-15-minute 1500 free performance in Asian history.

Additionally, Japan won the overall medal count with 47 (16G, 14S, 17B), while China placed second with 44 (16G, 22S, 6B). Korea came in third with 16 medals (3G, 2S, 11B).

Notably, two other Asian records fell during the meet as China's Chen Zuo eclipsed the 100 free, while Japan's team of Takamitsu Kojima, Hiroaki Yamamoto, Makoto Ito and Daisuke Hosokawa broke the standard in the 400 free relay.

Men's 50 Backstroke
Japan's Junya Koga nipped China's Ouyang Kunpeng, the Asian record holder in the event, to win the sprint backstroke event, 25.40 to 25.47. Meanwhile, Korea's Min Sung snared bronze in 25.57.

Women's 200 IM
China's Qi Hui picked up added to her country's gold rush with a first-place time of 2:11.92. Japan snared the next two spots as Asami Kitagawa (2:14.51) and Maiko Fujino (2:15.21) placed second and third, respectively.

Men's 200 Breaststroke
Japan captured a gold-silver sweep in the 200 breast as Asian record holder Kosuke Kitajima hit the wall in 2:12.05 (nearly three seconds off his Asian record) for first, while Daisuke Kimura finished second in 2:13.17. Kimura came from behind to edge Kazakhstan's Vladislav Polyakov, who clocked a third-place 2:13.60.

Women's 50 Butterfly
Singapore's Li Tao claimed her country's first swimming gold of the Asiad with a 26.73 in the sprint fly. Meanwhile, China's Xu Yanwei settled for silver in 26.95, while Japan's Yuka Kato nabbed bronze in 26.98 to nip China's Zhou Yafei (26.99), the current Asian record holder in the event.

Men's 1500 Freestyle
Korea's Tae Hwan Park asserted his claim as the best swimmer of the Games with his second Asian record by chopping five seconds off China's Zhang Lin's previous record of 15:00.27 set on Nov. 2, 2005. Park became the first Asian in the sub-15-minute club with a gold-winning time of 14:55.03.

Zhang came in with silver after hitting the wall in 15:03.13, while Japan's Takeshi Matsuda took third in 15:17.18.

Men's 400 Medley Relay
Japan's team of Junichi Miyashita, Kosuke Kitajima, Takashi Yamamoto and Daisuke Hosokawa won the 400 medley relay in 3:36.52, while China's squad of Ouyang Kunpeng, Lai Zhongjian, Wang Dong and Chen Zuo placed second in 3:40.27. Korea's foursome of Min Sung, Seung Hun You, Doo Hee Jeong and Tae Hwan Park came in third in 3:41.33.