Asian Games: Japan's Hagino wins Asiad 200m freestyle

AFP, Sunday 21 Sep 2014

Kosuke Hagino
Japan's Kosuke Hagino reacts after winning in the men's 200m freestyle final swimming competition at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 21, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

Japan's Kosuke Hagino stunned heavyweights Sun Yang and Park Tae-Hwan to snatch Asian Games gold in an electrifying men's 200 metres freestyle final on Sunday.

Hagino, 20, trailed the Chinese and South Korean stars going into the final lap but roared back in the last 50 metres to touch in one minute, 45.23 seconds, just 0.05 ahead of Sun.

Local hero Park, who had been greeted by deafening cheers at the Incheon aquatics arena named after him, clocked 1:45.85 in a dramatic finish.

Sun, the reigning 400m and 1,500m world and Olympic champion, had looked sharpest in the morning's heats, while Park, who won gold in the 400m at the 2008 Beijing Games, had struggled with his stroke.

But medley specialist Hagino, whose coach had given him "zero chance" of winning the gold, producing a sensational late burst to steal their thunder.

Hagino won two golds at last month's Pan Pacific championships in Australia, including a stunning upset over American legend Michael Phelps to win the 200m individual medley and beating another US star Tyler Clary in the 400m medley.

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