Asian Games: Japan wraps up games with gold in mixed triathlon relay

Japan wrapped up its Asian Games campaign with another gold medal on Sunday, the final day of the quadrennial multisport event, after defending its title in the mixed triathlon relay.

The team of Yuka Sato, Jumpei Furuya, Yuko Takahashi and Yuichi Hosoda claimed the final gold on offer at the games by crossing the line in 1 hour, 30 minutes, 39 seconds in Palembang.

(Jumpei Furuya)

South Korea finished 2 minutes, 12 seconds behind to secure silver, while Hong Kong took bronze.

«The result is all that matters in the world of sports. So we are proud to win gold with the Tokyo Olympics only two years away,» said Hosoda, who was competing in his third Asian Games. «This might not be the perfect time to say this because we won, but we shouldn’t be satisfied (with this), and we have to do our best to compete in the world.»

The event, in which four athletes race in a relay that features swimming, biking and running, will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Japan has dominated triathlon competition at the 16-day Asian Games. Furuya won the men’s event on Saturday, while Takahashi struck gold in the women’s event Friday.

«When I woke up this morning, I just felt I was still tired from my race yesterday, but I had to do the best I can because I was chosen to take the second leg,» Furuya said. «Motivation to win was the only thing pushing me forward.»

Japan won the event at the previous Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014.

«I remember being happy after winning the race last time, but the feeling of joy has changed over the years,» said the 33-year-old Hosoda. «The other athletes have grown and I enjoy seeing younger athletes become more dependable.»

The victory meant Japan ended the 2018 games with 75 gold, 56 silver and 74 bronze. With 132 gold, only China finished ahead on the medal table.

The closing ceremony of the Asian Games will take place in Jakarta later in the day.

All — Kyodo News+

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