Japan overcame wet conditions and a stern test from South Korea to win the triathlon mixed team relay event here on day seven at the Asian Games, further showcasing a discipline hoping to soon feature on an Olympic stage.
After gaining gold and silver medals in both individual races yesterday, Japan were huge favourites in an event that sees a four-person team, consisting of two men and two women, each complete a 250-metre swim followed by a speedy 6 kilometre cycle and then a 1.6km run.
Yet South Korea, who did not feature on either of the individual podiums, provided a much tougher test than anticipated, with both teams entering the second half of the contest side-by-side in pouring rain, before men's gold medal winner Yuicki Hosoda edged clear on the final leg.
He led his team home in a collective time of 1 min 17.28sec for a 71 second victory over the host nation, while China comfortably held off Hong Kong for a distant bronze.
"The South Korean team had a great relay," said Hosoda afterwards, who was joined on the top step of the podium by female individual winner Ai Ueda, Hirokatsu Tayama and Yuka Sato.
"We were challenged by them, but by the time I was handed over [the baton] the cushion was relatively big.
"The three team mates I had ahead of me did a good job, I was very fortunate."
Although the International Triathlon Union was unsuccessful in its attempt to add the mixed relay to the Olympic programme for Rio 2016, it remains hopeful it will feature at Tokyo 2020, when Japanese athletes would be hoping to compete with the best in the sport on home turf.
That said, triathlon success was largely a blip for the Japanese on a somewhat frustrating day of action at Incheon 2014 in which they won just one other gold medal, garnered by 100m backstroke swimmer Sayaka Akase, and remain narrowly behind South Korea on the medals table.
After earlier victories for Olympic champion Sun Yang in the 1,500m freestyle and for Ye Shiwen in the 200m individual medley, China consolidated their status as Asia's number one swimming nation by overhauling Japan on the final leg to win the men's 4x100m medley relay.
Another sport to showcase one of the biggest names in the world here today was weightlifting, with Iran's reigning Olympic champion Behdad Salimikordasiabi defending his Asian Games crown in style by breaking three Championship records en route to heavyweight gold.
In total, the week-long weightlifting competition featured 78 world, junior world, Asian and Asian Games records, including nine world records.
But for sheer drama and suspense the highlight of the day came in cricket, when defending champions Pakistan fought back from the cusp of defeat to edge Bangladesh by four runs after their opponent's innings had been reduced to just seven overs due to heavy afternoon rain.
At one point, Bangladesh had three balls to score six runs, but a combination of canny bowling, poor shot selection, suicidal running and an unhelpfully slow pitch saw Pakistan home for their first medal of the Games of any colour.
Elsewhere, on day seven, despite being ranked a lowly 1055 in the world, home favourite Song Sang-wuk held his nerve to claim three-day eventing honours over Chinese rival Hua Tian, before leading South Korea to the team title.
But China also prospered, winning a further four gold medals in shooting, and two each in weightlifting and gymnastics, where Dong Dong and Li Dan claimed the respective male and female trampolining titles.
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