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UNIVERSIADE: Taiwan's Cheng wins gold in javelin (update)

2017/08/26 22:26:15

Taipei, Aug. 26 (CNA) Taiwan's Cheng Chao-tsun (鄭兆村) on Saturday won the gold medal in the men's javelin at the Taipei Universiade, with a throw of 91.36 meters, a new Asian record, breaking the previous record of 89.15 meters set by Chinese athlete Zhao Qinggang (趙慶剛) in 2014.

Cheng's 91.36m also broke the Universiade record of 86.50m. His compatriot Huang Shih-feng (黃士峰) won bronze in the event with a personal best of 86.64 meters.

Germany's Andreas Hofmann took silver with a personal best of 91.07 meters.

"Before the game I told my coach that I wanted to throw past the 90-meter mark. I want to become an Asian legend. I want to be the first Asian javelin thrower to surpass the 90-meter mark," Cheng said during a press conference after the game.

He said he kept this goal close to his heart, even though he knew "it is a very difficult goal to reach."

"I finally achieved it today. I would like to thank everyone for their support," said the 23-year-old student from Fu Jen Catholic University.

During Saturday's final, Cheng led after the first throw with 83.91m, but fell behind Hofmann after the German launched a 85.59m on the third throw. On the fourth throw, Huang surpassed the two with a distance of 86.64m.

Hofmann, however, quickly recovered and returned to first place on the fifth throw with 88.33m. He then threw a remarkable 91.07m on his final attempt, but it was not good enough to beat Cheng's shocking 91.36m final throw.

Before his final attempt, Cheng said he tried not to think too much and just brought what he learned during his trainings to the field.

"It was a great competition and we pushed each other to (our) limits," Hofmann said at the press conference.

"It's crazy," he said, when commenting on Cheng's last throw as well as his own personal best throw.

"Thank you for the crowd. It was very exciting to throw here," Hofmann said.

Huang, meanwhile, called Saturday night's game "the most unforgettable night" for the audience in Taiwan, and said it shows that Taiwanese athletes are capable of winning medals in athletics in a world competition.

Cheng's record-breaking throw on Saturday surpassed the distances thrown by the gold medalists in men's javelin at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

Germany's Thomas Rohler took gold in the men's javelin at the Rio Olympics with a throw of 90.30m, while Germany's Johannes Vetter won gold at the London world championships with a throw of 89.89m.

(By Christie Chen)