(AFP) – Aug 15, 2008
BEIJING (AFP) — Two positive dope tests by Asian athletes overshadowed Singapore's first medal in 48 years and a podium for Malaysia Friday with a North Korean shooter and a Vietnamese gymnast exposed as cheats.
North Korea's Kim Jong-Su, 31, won silver and bronze in shooting events but will be stripped of the medals, International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokeswoman Giselle Davies said.
The Vietnamese gymnast was named as Do Thi Ngan Thuong, who tested positive to the banned diuretic furosemide.
It means North Korea's medal tally has been revised to one gold, one silver and three bronze.
Among other Asian nations, China sits on top of the medal table with 25 gold ahead of the United States. South Korea and Japan both have six.
Thailand, India, and Mongolia have all won one gold each while Vietnam has a silver, and Indonesia and Taiwan both have two bronze.
Singapore and Malaysia ensured rare medals for the themselves in table tennis and badminton respectively, while Indonesia secured another medal when Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan made the men's badminton doubles final.
A jubilant Singapore celebrated its first medal since weightlifter Tan Howe Liang won silver at the Rome Olympics in 1960 after their women's table tennis players made the final of the team event.
Feng Tianwei, Li Jiawei and Wang Yue Gu were the heroines as they beat South Korea 3-2.
"I feel that our mission has been accomplished because I treated today's match as a final," said Singaporean coach Liu Guodong.
"Having worked as a coach in Singapore for two years, I'm very happy to have helped the country end its 48-year medal drought."
Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei powered into the men's badminton final after fighting off South Korea's Lee Hyunil as he guns for his country's first ever Olympic gold medal in any sport.
Lee said he was nervous during the first game and almost gave up on the second game, before steeling himself for the third.
"Today I went all out," said Lee.
Vietnam's Thuong was the first gymnast ever from her country to compete in an Olympics and ranked 59th in qualifying for the individual all-around event that was won by America's Nastia Liukin on Friday.
Kim, who won a silver medal in the men's 50m pistol and bronze in the 10m pistol, tested positive for having taken banned beta-blocker drugs.
Professor Arne Ljungqvist, the head of the IOC's medical commission, was in no doubt that he had deliberately taken drugs.
"This beta-blocking agent is banned only in certain sports such as shooting and archery which require great control. Therefore I can only describe it, (the drug-taking) as deliberate."
He was more charitable when it came to Thuong, whom he believed had been poorly advised.
"This was probably a result of poor information to a young athlete who was not sure what she could take."
Thuong, 19, was invited to take part in the Games by the Tripartite Commission, which offers underachieving athletes the chance to taste big-time competition.
According to her biography, she left her family home aged just seven to further her gymnastics career by training in China.
In other sporting action, Japan's Satoshi Ishii won the men's +100kg judo competition.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's Maria Kristin Yulianti fell to defending champion Zhang Ning in the women's badminton semi-finals and will play another Chinese, Lu Lan, for bronze.
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