Sun wins gold with a new record

SIZE DOESN’T MATTER Om Yun Chol of North Korea won the gold in the men’s 56kg weightlifting event in Jakarta. AFP

Chinese heavyweight Sun Yang battered his rivals to create history on Monday as the swimming goliath scooped the first-ever Asian Games men’s 800 metres freestyle gold with another monstrous performance.

Greeted like a rock star with high-pitched squeals from a excitable section of female Chinese fans in Jakarta, the triple Olympic champion claimed a runaway victory in a new Games record of seven minutes, 48.36 seconds.

Sun, who blazed to the 200m title at the weekend, uncoiled his rippling two-metre frame to pull away over the second half of the race to leave Japan’s Shogo Takeda and Vietnam’s Nguyen Huy Hoang flailing in his wake.

“The plan was to pick up the pace over the last 200 metres and it went well. That will give me confidence for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Sun

Elsewhere, Japanese Olympic hold Rikako Ikee won her second and third gold medals of the competition in the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle.

The 18-year-old, who lit up the recent Pan Pacific swimming championships in Tokyo, is expected to be a force in the 100m free and 100m fly at the 2020 Olympics.

Ikee breezed to victory in Monday’s one-lap race in a Games-best of 25.55 -- almost half a second clear of China’s Wang Yichun.

After setting a new competition best in the 100m free in helping Japan win the weekend’s 4x100m free, Ikee returned for swimming’s blue-riband event to duck under that record again, winning in 53.27 from China’s Zhu Menghui (53.56).

North Korea shine

North Korea’s pint-sized weightlifters ruled the roost as the secretive nation bagged their first two gold medals of the Games on Monday.

Ri Song Gum pipped local favourite Sri Wahyuni Agustiani to open their account in the women’s 48kg class then pocket rocket Om Yun Chol retained his Asian Games men’s 56kg title with ease as he defeated eternal Asian rival Kim Tuan Thach of Vietnam. Ri, who is just 4ft 7in (140cm) tall, hoisted a massive 112kg in her first clean and jerk attempt to power past Agustiani who had led after the first snatch discipline.

Then Om, who is not much taller at 4ft 11in (151cm), raised 160kg in the clean and jerk for a 287kg total, 7kg ahead of Thach, the reigning world champion, who also had to settle for silver behind Om in Incheon four years ago.

Indonesia took their second lifting medal of the day as Suramat Bin Suwoto Wijoyo was awarded the bronze after a 272kg total.

London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Om, known for his exuberant celebrations, gave a reserved fist pump as he made his winning lift and departed the stage with just a wave before failing at two 172kg attempts that would have beaten his own Asian Games record set in 2014. Om stood to attention and saluted throughout the anthem on the podium with his country’s flag wrapped around him to the delight of massed ranks of unified Korea supporters in the crowd.

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Sun wins gold with a new record

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