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(LEAD) (Asiad) Jung Ji-hyun gives host first wrestling gold in 8 yrs

All Headlines 21:24 September 30, 2014

(ATTN: UPDATES with athlete's comments in paras 4-5; ADDS details throughout, photos)
By Park Sojung

INCHEON, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean wrestler Jung Ji-hyun won the gold medal in the men's 71㎏ Greco-Roman wrestling at the Asian Games on Tuesday, giving the host nation its first wrestling title in eight years.

Jung overwhelmed his Uzbek opponent Dilshodjon Turdiev 9-0 in one minute and 22 seconds, ending the game well before the usual six-minute mark.

<YNAPHOTO path='C:/YNA/YNACLI~1/Down/Article/AEN20140930009351315_01_i.jpg' id='' title='' caption='South Korean wrestler Jung Ji-hyun tackles Uzbek Dilshodjon Turdiev at the Asian Games gold medal match in the men&apos;s 71㎏ Greco-Roman event in Incheon, west of Seoul, on Sept. 30, 2014. (Yonhap)'/>

<YNAPHOTO path='C:/YNA/YNACLI~1/Down/Article/AEN20140930009351315_02_i.jpg' id='' title='' caption='South Korean wrestler Jung Ji-hyun cries in celebration of his gold medal win at the men&apos;s 71㎏ Grego-Roman event at the Asian Games in Incheon, west of Seoul, on Sept. 30, 2014. (Yonhap)'/>

The 31-year-old had been thirsting for gold ever since winning the 60㎏ title at the Athens Olympics.

"I'm glad I was able to finish first in what could be my final game," Jung told reporters after the match. He had been vying for an Asian Games title since 2002, but his best performance had been a silver at the 2010 Asiad.

"Because I used to belong to a lower weight division, I'm smaller and slighter than most wrestlers in this class," said Jung, whose right eye had been badly bruised from earlier bouts. "So I decided to capitalize on my speed, skills and durability to make up for my lack of stamina."

Earlier in the semis, Jung rallied from a period down to beat Iranian Saeid Abdvali 9-6. The match could have been his final chance at an Asian Games gold, as the Iranian had the 2010 Asiad and two world championships titles under his belt.

In the men's 59㎏ division, South Korean Kim Young-jun lost to China's Tian Qiye 4-0 to miss out on bronze. He was dropped to the bronze medal match after Japan's Kohei Hasegawa outmuscled him 8-4 in a come-from-behind victory.

Another South Korean, Gu Hak-bon in the men's 98㎏, was also knocked out of the quarterfinals in a 2-0 rout by Kazakhstan's Yerulan Iskakov.

South Korea had been eyeing a return to its glory days with this Asian Games on home turf. The country grabbed at least five titles at every Asiad between 1986 and 2006, but missed out on golds in 2010.

sojungpark@yna.co.kr
(END)

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