Taiwan concludes Asian Games with 13 gold medals


TAIPEI — Taiwan took home 13 gold, 16 silver and 38 bronze medals as the Asian Games concluded in Guangzhou, China yesterday, finishing with its second biggest gold medal haul and its best performance in 12 years at the games.

Taiwan recorded its best performance in the Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand in 1998, when it bagged 19 gold, 17 silver and 41 bronze medals. It only won nine gold medals at the quadrennial games in Doha, Qatar, four years ago.

Compared to other countries, Taiwan came seventh in terms of the number of gold medals won, and fifth in terms of the total number of medals its athletes clinched.

Taiwan did not win a medal on the final day of the two-week event. Its women’s volleyball team beat Mongolia to finish in seventh place, while marathoner Chang Chia-che ranked 10th.

Four of Taiwan’s 13 gold medals came from roller sports. The country also won two gold medals each in taekwondo, soft tennis and tennis. Cyclist Hsiao Mei-yu surprised everyone with her gold medal victory in the 100-kilometer women’s individual road race.

While Taiwan’s baseball team failed to defend its title, Taiwan made a major breakthrough in track and field with a silver in the men’s 4×100 meter relay.

However, what caught most Taiwanese people’s attention during the Games was a controversy over the disqualification of Taiwan’s women’s taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun.

She was disqualified after referees said she wore electronic sensors on her socks to help her score points, which was not allowed. Yang, a gold medal hopeful, denied she wore the sensors during the match.

The ruling had subsequently turned into an international incident and caused diplomatic tension between Taiwan, China and South Korea. Taiwan’s president, premier and sports officials have all demanded justice for Yang. The case is being investigated by the Asian Taekwondo Union and World Taekwondo Federation.

The 2014 Asian Games will be held in Incheon, South Korea.