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Judoka Yang Yung-wei snatches Taiwan's first medal at Tokyo Olympics

2021-07-25
Focus Taiwan
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Judoka Yang Yung-wei. CNA photo July 24, 2021
Judoka Yang Yung-wei. CNA photo July 24, 2021

Tokyo, July 24 (CNA) Taiwan's Yang Yung-wei fell to Naohisa Takato of Japan in the men's 60-kg judo final at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, taking home silver and claiming Taiwan's first medal of the games.

The 23-year-old Yang, of Paiwan Indigenous background, had defeated France's Luka Mkheidze in the competition's semifinals earlier that day to advance to the final against Takato, a Rio 2016 bronze medalist.

In the final, Yang managed to keep things competitive into the "golden score" overtime period, when he lost by disqualification after committing a third penalty.

Despite falling short of gold, Yang's second-place showing gave Taiwan its first medal in Tokyo, as well as its first ever medal in an Olympics judo competition.

In an interview after the match, Yang described the experience of standing on the podium to receive his medal as "something I had dreamed of, but never expected to happen in reality."

"I won't give up because of this, my goal is to win a gold medal," he added.

Meanwhile, in the women's 48-kg category, Taiwan judoka Lin Chen-hao got off to a strong start Saturday with victories against Italy's Francesca Milani and Russia's Irina Dolgova.

In the quarterfinals, however, Lin came up against world No. 1 Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo, who defeated her on an o-soto-gari take down in only 19 seconds, on her way to winning the gold medal.

In a subsequent repechage match for entry into the bronze medal competition, Lin lost to Israeli Shira Rishony, dashing her hopes of a top-three finish.

Taiwan's third judoka to qualify for Tokyo, Lien Chen-ling, is set to compete in an elimination round of 16 in the women's 57-kg category on Monday, against an opponent who has yet to be determined.

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