Published: 00:00, Aug 25,2018

Reza Alipour

Reza Alipour of Iran poses on the podium after winning gold medal in the Men’s Speed Sport Climbing event of the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia on Thursday. — AFP photo

‘Asiatic Cheetah’ wins historic climbing gold
Reza Alipour of Iran took gold in the first ever men’s climbing final at the Asian Games on Thursday ahead of the sport’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics in two years’ time. The 24-year-old world record holder, dubbed the ‘Asiatic Cheetah’, darted up the wall during the knockout stages but only won the final after his Chinese opponent Zhong Qixin, 29, made a false start. Alipour said he was very happy to get the gold but disappointed about the way he won against Zhong, whom he described as a ‘strong climber and good friend’. Alipour knocked 0.12 seconds off the world record in the Chinese city of Nanjing in April this year, taking just 5.48 seconds to scale the 15 metre-high wall. The athlete fell in love with the sport when he was just 10 and says becoming the fastest speed climber in the world was a childhood dream come true. To this day, Alipour still trains without a coach, saying the lack of top-level expertise in his discipline in Iran means he has no choice. ‘I don’t have a doctor; I don’t have a coach; I just have God,’ he told AFP, adding that his somewhat diminutive 1.67m (5ft 5ins) height meant he needed a different technique to his rivals. — AFP

South Korea demand probe into Chinese swimming ‘assault’
South Korea have asked Asian Games organisers to investigate after swimmer Kim Hye-jin was allegedly assaulted by China’s Duo Shen after an altercation in the tournament’s training pool. The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee said Duo kicked Kim twice in the belly after she was accidentally struck by the Korean as they were swimming on Thursday. The committee said it has formally requested an investigation by the Games organising committee and the Olympic Council of Asia, after Kim said she wanted Duo to face punishment. ‘As Kim said she wanted an official punishment against the Chinese athlete over her unsportsmanlike conduct of physical assault, the KSOC officially requested an investigation,’ a Korean-language statement said. ‘It also urged proper action to be taken if the assault is confirmed, to prevent similar conducts from taking place again.’ The statement added that Korea’s team rejected an apology from Shen, a freestyle specialist who won four gold medals at the 2014 Asian Games, in line with Kim’s wishes. — AFP

Indonesia rower dedicates first gold to newborn
Host nation Indonesia took its first-ever Asian Games rowing gold Friday with one team member dedicating the medal to his newborn baby that he has not yet been able to meet. Victory in the lightweight men’s eight was the country’s ninth gold medal in the regional Olympics, bringing it only two short of its record set in 1962, the last time the nation hosted the event. As they crossed the finish line, the team stood up in their boat, pumping their fists in the air while overjoyed supporters repeatedly chanted ‘Indonesia!’ One of the heroic eight, Tanzil Hadid, spoke of the personal sacrifice that he had made to get the gold round his neck. ‘I dedicate this medal to my family -- especially my newborn baby whom I have never met,’ he told reporters. Uzbekistan took the silver, while Hong Kong’s bronze was its second rowing medal of the day after bagging silver in the men’s lightweight single sculls. — AFP

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