Asian Games: Japan Fined for Celebrating After Sprint Gold
Japan's cyclists Seiichiro Nakagawa and Tomoyuki Kawabata rode a victory lap with Nakagawa wearing the Japanese flag as a cape and Kawabata, 29, holding a corner so it stretched between them at the Asian Games after winning gold and silver respectively.
Japan's Seiichiro Nakagawa and Tomoyuki Kawabata took Asian Games gold and silver in the men's cycling individual sprint final on Wednesday -- but were fined for their track celebration. (Full Coverage | Medal Tally)
Nakagawa, 34, eased past his younger rival in the first race but faced a fight in the second, edging ahead just before the line for his first Asiad win.
The smiling teammates rode a victory lap with Nakagawa wearing the Japanese flag as a cape and Kawabata, 29, holding a corner so it stretched between them.
But officials rained on the parade when they announced that both players would be hit with a fine of 50 Swiss francs (50 dollars) by the event commissaire. (Asian Games Hit by Hijab Row)
Japan's team doctor Takao Kanai said the fine had been for swapping race bikes for road bikes to do the victory lap.
"It's easier to hold the flags on a road bike!" a grinning Tomoyuki told AFP. Both riders said they didn't realise they had been penalised.
"We didn't know we had been fined. Whatever we did, we're sorry," said Nakagawa.
The veteran rider is now setting his sights even higher.
"I'm 34 and this is my first Asian Games gold -- my goal is to win a medal in the next Olympics," he said.
He put his success down to focussing on building up physical strength and technical skills -- Kanai added that the team had also been getting psychological support.
"It's mainly respiratory method, meditation and brain exercises," he told AFP.
China's Bao Saifei took bronze, outpacing Malaysia's Azizul Awang in a third-race decider.
The women's individual sprint quarter-finals set up a likely clash for gold between Hong Kong Olympic medallist Sarah Lee Wai-sze and fastest qualifier Zhong Tianshi of China.
Lee won gold in the keirin with Zhong taking bronze -- but the Chinese sprint star will have to get past Fatehah Binti Mustapa in her semi-final. The Malaysian pipped Zhong to silver in the keirin and is on sparkling form.
Hong Kong's Lee will meet China's Lin Junhong in her semi-final the final day of track racing Thursday.
Malaysia's Awang and teammate Josiah Ng will be going for gold in the men's keirin -- Awang is reigning champion and Ng has had to settle for silver three times at the Games.
Thursday's race is likely to be the 34-year-old's last chance at Asian Games gold.