August 23 - Ly Hoang Nam may be a name that becomes much more familiar in future years as the 16-year-old tennis star from Vietnam played like a true champion here at the Asian Youth Games in overcoming the heat, a formidable opponent and the exhaustion of playing for almost three hours to win a thrilling men's singles title 6-7, 7-5, 7-5
In the first set Nam immediately seemed the stronger and was constantly putting pressure on the serve of the Philippines' Jurence Mendoza, only for his opponent to come roaring back and use his superb forehand to win the deciding tie-break.
As the afternoon got warmer and the crowd got larger, neither player gave any quarter in the second set, with long baseline exchanges between two incredibly fit but essentially similarly styled players being the order of the day, until it was Mendoza who cracked this time as he was broken in the final game.
If there was any thought that the standard would drop as the match entered its third hour it did not happen as both players kept plugging away with their impeccable temperaments' accompanying their physical and technical strengths.
Yet in a game that lasted two hours and 48 minutes it was Nam who was just the stronger as he held on to break and win his countries first ever Asian tennis title, before he admitted that it was "the longest game he had ever played" and that he could "not believe how consistent they both were."
China took their gold medal tally to 46 as they won the two other titles available in tennis.
The all-Chinese women's singles final was won comfortably by second seed Ziyue Sun as she completed the entire championships' without the loss of a single set, while she then teamed up with Weiqiang Zheng to overcome opponents from Chinese Taipei and win a second title in the mixed doubles.
Qatar won the men's gold medal in handball as they overcome a 14-10 half-time deficit to win 28-21 over South Korea thanks partly to seven goals by Amor Dhiab.
The South Koreans did not have to wait long to make amends however as at the same Jiangning Sport Centre venue they repeated their 1-0 semi-final victory in the final of the men's football as captain Jim Jungmin scored the only goal of the game against Iran.
North Korea had earlier won 6-5 on penalties to win a thrilling bronze medal playoff against Iraq after the 70 minute match had ended tied at 1-1.
South Korea also consolidated their second place on the medals table with four more titles in swimming: in the men and women's 100 metre freestyle for Dasan Kim and Miso Ko, the men's 50m backstroke for Won Youngjun and the women's 200m breaststroke for Jiwon Yang.
Chinese Taipei and Vietnam won the two other events, as the Vietnamese continued their strong day with London 2012 Olympic participant Nguyen Thi Anh Vien earning her third gold of the week in the 50m backstroke.
Elsewhere, there was double gold for Malaysia in squash after they won 2-0 in the women's event over Hong Kong, and 2-1 in the men's over the non-affiliated team from India – where Mohammad Syafiq Mohd Kamal's 3-2 win over men's singles champion Kush Kumar proved the defining moment.
Behind China, who won a total of 93 medals, including 46 golds, and South Korea with 52, 27 of them gold, came Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei to complete the top five on the medals table.
Medals were won by 29 different countries with 19 of them taking at least one gold in an event which will formerly conclude tomorrow with the Closing Ceremony.
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