UPSETS in tennis and hockey provided enough drama yesterday to make up for a disappointing athletics programme, which was curtailed by high winds and rain on the 11th day of the Asian Games in Hiroshima.
In the medals table, China remained way ahead with 106 golds, but Japan opened up a three gold lead over their traditional rivals for the No 2 spot, South Korea.
For once the excitement was away from the main stadium when the No 1 seed in the men's tennis semi-finals, Leander Paes, of India, was beaten by the unknown South Korean student Yoon Yong-il, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5. The top- seeded woman, Kimiko Date, of Japan, had a slightly easier time advancing to the final.
Paes, a former Wimbledon and US Open junior champion, had predicted before the Games that he would win golds in the team event as well as in singles and doubles. His singles charge ended with a weak forehand into the net, giving a just reward to the tenacious 21- year-old Yoon Yong-il, who made up for his lack of skill with athleticism. Yoon Yong-il had broken Paes at 5-5 in the third set and then fought off two break points in the next game to win the match.
Date, ranked 10th in the world, sandwiched two good sets around a bad one in beating the third- seed, Yayuk Basuki, of Indonesia, 6-0, 5-7, 6-0. Date plays compatriot Naoko Sawamatsu, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over China's Chen Li, in tomorrow's final, while Yoon Yong-il meets China's Pan Bing, who beat Indonesia's Benny Wijaya 6-3, 6-3.
India's sub-continent rival, Pakistan, also had a day of defeat when their champion hockey team went down to South Korea in the second major upset of the day. South Korea play India, 1-0 winners over Japan, in the final.
The Koreans scored four penalties to Pakistan's one after the game had ended 2-2 in regulation time. The goalkeeper, Koo Jin-soo, stopped Pakistan's first shot and Mehmood Irfan put Pakistan's third shot over the goal.
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