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The final medal table sapporo 2017 8th Asian Winter Games
Japan finish top of medals table after record-breaking haul at Asian Winter Games

26 Feb 2017
Sapporo, Japan, February 26, 2017: Japanese teenager Shoma Uno put the icing on a record-breaking team performance from the host nation at the 8th Asian Winter Games when he won the final gold medal of the nine-day sporting extravaganza. The 19-year-old from Nagoya wowed the judges at the Makomanai Ice Arena to win the men’s figure skating competition, one of the most coveted gold medals of the Asian Winter Games, in a fitting end to a hugely successful event for Japan.

Uno’s medal was Japan’s 27th gold of the Games and their 74th overall, creating a new all-time record for the Asian Winter Games after Kazakhstan set the previous standard by winning 70 medals at Almaty in 2011.

For the first time since 2003, Japan also finished at the top of the medals table with 27 gold, 21 silver and 26 bronze. South Korea, hosts of next year’s Winter Olympics, also enjoyed a brilliant Games, winning 16 golds and 50 medals in total. China, preparing to stage the Winter Olympics in 2022, finished third with 12 golds and 35 medals overall while Kazakhstan was fourth with nine golds and 32 medals in total.

DPR Korea also won a bronze in the pairs figure skating for Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik as the competition for medals was hotter than ever with a record number of athletes and National Olympic Committees competing in Sapporo. While Japan won medals in most of the 11 sports at the Winter Asiad, the host nation was especially dominant in speed skating, alpine skiing and cross-country skiing.

Yuki Kobayashi was the standout competitor in cross-country skiing, winning four gold medals in 5 kilometre classical, 10km classical, 15km freestyle and relay. In the speed skating events, held at Obihiro, Japan won seven of the 14 golds up for grabs, including six of the seven women’s titles. Miho Takagi, who was just 15 when she competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics, collected three golds in the 1,500 metres, 3,000m and mass start while Nao Kodaira won the 500m-1,000m sprint double.

Japan also won three of the four alpine skiing events at Sapporo Teine with Emi Hasegawa fastest down the mountain in both slalom and giant slalom and three of the four freestyle skiing events with Ikuma Horishima winning both the single and dual men’s moguls.
South Korea dominated the men’s events in speed skating with Lee Seung-hoon winning four golds himself - in 5,000m, 10,000m, mass start and team pursuit - while the Olympic hosts won five of the eight titles in short-track speed skating.

Shim Suk-hee and Choi Min-jeong split the gold and the silver medals in the 1,000m and 1,500m before teaming up in the 3,00m relay to finish with two golds apiece. Most of China’s golds came in events played on ice. China won both the men’s and women’s curling titles and two golds in figure skating, in pairs and ice dancing.

China also won three golds in short-track speed skating with Wu Dajing, a multiple world and Olympic champion, picking up two more in the 500m and men’s relay. Kazakhstan were the dominant force in biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing with shooting, winning six of the seven gold medals at stake despite still feeling the effects of jet-lag after flying straight to Hokkaido Island after competing at the world championships in Austria.

Galina Vishnevskaya helped herself to four gold medals in the women’s 7.5km and 10km sprints, the 12.5km mass start and the mixed relay. Her team mate Jan Savitskiy was a triple gold medallist, winning the men’s 10km sprint and 12.5km pursuit and featuring in the relay, before Kazakhstan signed off the competition by winning the men’s ice hockey title in grand style, without conceding a single goal in the tournament.
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