Hong Kong’s Wong Kam Po took the gold medal in the men’s road race at the Asian Games in Guangzhou but the result was controversial after Park Sung-baek of South Korea was first over the line but was relegated to 19th place for dangerous sprinting.
Sung-Baek moved to his left during the 19-rider sprint, hindering Wong, who raised his arm in protest, while still managing to cross the line second. He was announced as the winner, while Takashi Miyazawa of Japan was promoted from third to second and awarded the silver medal, and Zou Rongzi of China got the bronze.
Wong and Miyazawa were part of a four-rider break that led most of the last 20-kilometre lap of the 180km race around the campus of the Guangzhou University. The front group reformed close to the finish and Park won the sprint but was relegated after judges studied the video of the sprint.
Park’s coach, Cho Keon-haeng suggested to the AP news agency that the judges made an unfair decision.
“There are three to four referees from Hong Kong, and one or two from China, which makes Chinese referees the largest proportion of the whole officials’ team,” Cho said. “Even if Wong was not from Hong Kong, let’s say he was a Japanese rider, their final decision would still go against Korean riders, as the chief judge is Japanese.
“Park crossed the finish line first. He was just a bit off his original line and did not do it on purpose. And why should a sprinter keep straight in the final moment anyway? The wind was quite strong and changing direction. They gave the medal to Wong because he’s from Hong Kong.”
37-year-old Wong insisted Park had damaged his chances in the sprint.
“I knew that I had a good chance to win because I have a fast enough sprint,” Wong said. “Park was obviously swerving at the end of the sprint, and I was sure he broke the rules.”
Wong has now participated in four editions of the Asian Games, winning three gold medals and one bronze.
|1||Kam Po Wong (Hong Kong, China)||4:14:54|
|2||Takashi Miyazawa (Japan)|
|3||Rongxi Zou (People's Republic of China)|
|4||Wei Cheng Lee (Chinese Taipei)|
|5||Minh Thuy Bui (Vietnam)|
|6||Maxim Iglinskiy (Kazakhstan)|
|7||Eugen Wacker (Kyrgyzstan)|
|8||Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan)|
|9||Mehdi Sohrabi (Islamic Republic of Iran)|
|10||Sayed Ahmed Alawi (Bahrain)|
|11||Ruslan Karimov (Uzbekistan)|
|12||Shinri Suzuki (Japan)|
|13||Kyung Gu Jang (Korea)|
|14||Mansoor Mohamed Jawad (Bahrain)|
|15||Khangarid Naran (Mongolia)|
|17||Xitao Ji (People's Republic of China)|
|18||Anuar Manan (Malaysia)|
|19||Park Sung-baek (Korea)|
|20||Ho Ting Kwok (Hong Kong, China)||0:00:07|
|21||Laxmen Wijerathna (Sri Lanka)||0:00:10|
|22||Heng Wa Choi (Macao, China)|
|23||Ryan Ariehaan Hilmant (Indonesia)||0:00:13|
|24||Irish Valenzuela (Philippines)|
|25||Sultan Mohammed Asiri (Saudi Arabia)||0:00:17|
|26||Lloyd Lucien Reynante (Philippines)||0:00:19|
|28||Adiq Husain Othman (Malaysia)|
|29||Ayman Alhabrati (Saudi Arabia)||0:00:25|
|30||Fadi Khan Shaikhouni (Syrian Arab Republic)|
|31||Khalil Abduljanan (Qatar)||0:00:36|
|32||Atul Kumar (India)||0:01:05|
|33||Chun Kai Feng (Chinese Taipei)||0:01:54|
|34||Hassan Maleki Mizan (Islamic Republic of Iran)||0:02:11|
|DNF||Tonton Susanto (Indonesia)|
|DNF||Valentin Iglinskiy (Kazakhstan)|
|DNF||Yousif Banihammad (United Arab Emirates)|
|DNF||Mohamed Almurawwi (United Arab Emirates)|
|DNF||Nguyen Hung Mai (Vietnam)|
|DNF||Tong Hin Cheang (Macao, China)|