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Singapore’s Jowen Lim wins historic wushu silver at Asian Games

HANGZHOU – From the heartbreak of missing out on an Asiad medal by just 0.01 point while nursing an ankle injury in 2018, this time Singaporean Jowen Lim was fighting fit as he created history by clinching a wushu silver at the Asian Games.

On Wednesday, he won what is also the nation’s first men’s daoshu and gunshu all-round medal at the Games with a combined score of 19.476. China’s Chang Zhizhao took the gold with 19.626 and Indonesia’s Seraf Siregar claimed bronze with 19.466.

Following Kimberly Ong’s women’s changquan bronze on Monday, this is Singapore’s second wushu medal at these Games, with Lim’s silver making this their best performance at a single Asiad – the Republic won two bronzes at Hiroshima 1994. In all, they now have produced eight medals at the Asian Games.

At the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre, Team Singapore’s co-flagbearer Lim displayed good flow in his movement and jumps with his weapons and stuck his landing firmly.

Daoshu and gunshu fall under the taolu (set routine) umbrella in wushu, and athletes are scored based on quality of movements, overall performance, and degree of difficulty.

In the morning daoshu (broadsword) component, the 24-year-old scored 9.733 points to give himself some breathing space from fourth-placed Siregar (9.726), while eyeing an upgrade by overtaking Chinese Taipei’s Wang Chen-ming (9.736). China’s former world champion Chang led with 9.826 points.

This was unlike the 2018 edition where he was tied with Indonesia’s eventual bronze medallist Achmad Hulaefi and lost out later on.

Siregar put the pressure on by scoring 9.740 in the afternoon gunshu (cudgel) segment, but Lim was unfazed.

The three-time World Championships bronze medallist and two-time world junior champion grabbed the coveted podium finish when he scored 9.743 in front of a screaming Singapore contingent to move into second place, which was secured after Wang managed just 9.716 points from his routine.

The medal also vindicates the Singapore Management University undergraduate’s decision to take a year-long leave of absence from school since February to train full-time. He will now focus on the Nov 16-20 World Wushu Championships in Texas, United States.

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