TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan built on its record medal tally after its athletes grabbed three more on Sunday (Aug. 1), doubling the country's all-time record at a single Olympics, while another athlete is assured of at least bronze later this week.
After four days of competition, Taiwanese golfer Pan Cheng-tsung (潘政琮) on Sunday found himself tied with six other competitors leading to a sudden-death playoff. By the third hole, the field was cut down to Pan and Collin Morikawa of the United States, with the former nabbing the bronze after the latter shot into a sandpit. This represented Taiwan's first Olympic medal in golf.
In the pommel horse competition, British gymnast Max Whitlock scored 8.583 for execution and 7.000 for difficulty, for a total of 15.583 points. Whitlock watched nervously as Taiwan's Lee Chih Kai (李智凱) gave a near-flawless performance and clean dismount.
Although Lee received a higher mark of 8.700 for execution, his score of 6.700 for difficulty was not enough to push Whitlock off the top of the podium, but it was good enough for silver. With the medal, Lee was able to exorcise his demons from his loss at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and represented Taiwan's first-ever medal in Olympic gymnastics.
At Tokyo's Musashino Forest Sports Plaza Sunday evening, Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) found herself one set down with a score of 18 to 21 in favor of her Chinese opponent Chen Yufei (陳雨菲). In the second set, she rallied back to win the second set 21-19, evening the match at one set each.
In the third set, Tai found herself falling into a deep hole early on. Through many nail-biting plays, she was able to work her way back to within two points of Chen.
However, after one long final rally by Tai, Chen bested her with a score of 21-18. Nevertheless, the silver medal is Tai's first Olympic badminton medal and the first to be set by a Taiwanese woman.
Adding to a fruitful day of competition for Taiwan's athletes, flyweight boxer Huang Hsiao-wen (黃筱雯) quickly took the lead over her Serbian opponent Nina Radovanovic with a score of 49-46 in the first round. Huang continued her domination of Radovanovic in the next two rounds, winning the match with a 5-0 decision.
Huang is now guaranteed to at least win at least a bronze medal, as the two boxers who make the semifinals but fail to reach the finals will both be awarded the bronze. Huang's semifinals match is slated for Wednesday (Aug. 4).
With the medals earned by Pan, Lee, and Tai, Taiwan has now raked in 10 medals at the 2020 Olympics, doubling its previous record medal haul of five, set at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics.