Asian Winter Games – Kazakhstan secure top place | Pakistan Today

Asian Winter Games – Kazakhstan secure top place

ALMATY – Hosts Kazakhstan secured top place in the Asian Winter Games medal table after they won five more gold medals on Saturday’s penultimate day. With only 11 gold medals still at stake, Kazakhstan top the table with 28 gold medals and 62 overall, while second-placed South Korea have 12 golds and 35 overall.
Masako Hozumi of Japan increased her team’s gold medal tally with a confident win in the women’s 5,000m speed skating. The 24-year-old finished 6.4 seconds ahead of second-placed Park Doyoung of South Korea. Another Japanase skater, Eriko Ishino, was third. Japan’s Kanako Murakami took the honours in the women’s figure skating, after a solid free skating performance gave her a final total of 177.04 points, 10 points more than compatriot Haruka Imai.
Kwak Min-Jeong of South Korea finished third. South Korean speed-skater Lee Seung-Hoon set a new Asian record at the men’s 10,000m distance, clocking a time of 13min 09.74sec to break his previous best mark, which was set last month in Obhiro, Japan. Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Babenko and Hiroki Hirako of Japan were second and third respectively. The hosts, meanwhile, started the day with a confident win in the women’s 4x6km biathlon relay.
Kazakhstan seized the lead right from the start through Marina Lebedeva, who came to the first exchange 24sec ahead of Wang Chuni of China. China’s Tang Jalin started in lively fashion and almost caught the hosts but a disastrous performance at the second shooting station, when she had to run two penalty laps, left her almost two minutes behind Kazakhstan at the second exchange.
Kazakhstan’s third participant, Inna Mozhevitina, also experienced problems with her second shooting but still left veteran Yelena Khrustaleva with a 49sec lead. A superb contribution from Khrustaleva saw the Kazakhs increase their lead to finish almost four minutes ahead of China’s Liu Yuanyuan, with Japan coming third. The hosts’ women’s Nordic skiing team also won gold medals in the 4x5km relay after a tough battle with Japan.
Japan, China and Kazakhstan all started brightly but Kazakhstan’s Elena Kolomina accelerated in the second half of her leg to open up a 17sec lead over Japan at the first exchange. Masako Ishida, Japan’s second stage racer, fought tooth and nail and managed to edge in front of Kazakhstan’s Oxana Yatskaya by two seconds at the second exchange. Japan’s Yuki Kobayashi then increased her team’s lead after reaching the last exchange 12sec ahead of Kazakhstan’s Anastasia Slonova.
However, the hosts’ Svetlana Malakhova-Shishkina moved up a gear and went on to finish alone with Kazakhstan’s flag in her hands, 53sec ahead of second-placed Japan. “Our plan did not work,” said Japanese skier Suzuki Fuyuko, who opened the relay. We were planning to gain a certain lead at the first leg but the hosts were prepared for the race much better that we were.
Women’s final standings after free skating
1. Kanako Murakami (JPN) 177.04 points, 2. Haruka Imai (JPN) 167.00, 3. Kwak Min-Jeong (KOR) 147.95
Women’s 4x6km relay
1. Kazakhstan 1hr 25min 17.0sec, 2. China 1:29:11.2, 3. Japan 1:29.37.7
Women’s 4x5km relay
1. Kazakhstan 1hr 01min 45.1sec, 2. Japan 1:02:38.1, 3. China 1:05:34.8
Men’s 4x10km relay
1. Kazakhstan 1hr 54min 40.9sec, 2. Japan 1:57:45.6, 3. South Korea 2:08:07.4
Women’s 5,000m
1. Hozumi Masako (JPN) 7min 09.23sec, 2. Park Doyoung (KOR) 7:15.63, 3. Eriko Ishino (JPN) 7:16.64
Men’s 10,000m
1. Lee Seung Hoon 13min 09.74sec, 2. Dmitriy Babenko (KAZ) 13:30.27, 3. Hiroki Hirako (JPN) 13:34.97
Women’s relay
1. Kazakhstan 59min 43sec, 2. South Korea 1hr 18min 00sec, 3. Mongolia 1:33:03
Men’s relay
1. Kazakhstan 56min 15sec, 2. Iran 1hr 02min 35sec, 3. Mongolia 1:27:13

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