South Korean Choi Defends Dressage Individual Title in Doha Asia

In a daring ride to very difficult choreography, South Korean Choi Jun Sang won the dressage final with a total score of 68.602 at the 15th Asian Games on Tuesday. 
 
Japanese rider Yukiko Noge took the silver with a 67.115, narrowly beating Malay Mahamad Fathil Mohd Qabil to the third by a margin of 0.074. 
 
The 28-year-old Choi, who had won a gold from Monday's team final, came into the individual final as the first-ranked with a point of 67.128 and scored 71.559 in his final display to defend his Asiad champion breezily. 
 
"I feel honored to be here, I mean the Asian Games, to compete with so many excellent riders," said Chui. "As a sportsman, I should get good results and I was very lucky with my horse." 
 
Riding Dancing Boy II, his gold medal horse from the 2002 Busan Asiad, Chui earned top marks from all the five judges, which are from five different countries and regions including Japan. 
 
"I'm very happy to receive a gold medal. It's part of my life, but I won't stop just because I won the gold medal. 
 
"I will keep going, and I will try to get more medals at bigger shows. I want to show European riders and everyone else that a poor boy from South Korea can get gold medals just like them," said Chui, who stopped training after the Busan Asiad and went to work in his father's company for two years before his return. 
 
"And I still want to thank Samsung as I can't stand the podium here without them," said Chui, who was allowed two years ago to go back with the sponsorship from the Samsung team, which sponsors several competition series around the world and keeps a stable of about 30 horses for dressage and jumping. 
 
"Choi is very talented and controlled very well today. I think he has a great future even in the Olympic Games," said Choi's German coach Juergen Koschel, who coached several teams at Olympic Games level. 
 
"He would probably change his horse first before going for the Olympic qualifiers," added Koschel. 
 
Mohd Qabil rode another fantastic test in the final with a score of 68.900, which is the second best of the final, but it was not enough to beat the Japanese rider Yukiko Noge, who got an advantage of 0.461 from the qualifiers into the final. 
 
"I think I did a good job. There were a few mistakes in the flying changes, but still everything went well," said Mohd Qabil, who won dressage silver in the 1998 Games in Bangkok and jumping Bronze in 2002, in Busan, South Korea. 
 
"I'm happy because all I want is a medal and I got it. 
 
"I trained hard for the medal. It's really tough. I trained for dressage in Germany Monday to Wednesday, jumping in Holland on Thursday and Friday, and weekends are for competitions. 
 
"So I'm really happy for the medal I won," added Qabil. 
 
Shu Jung Kyun, the 44-year-old South Korean who was regarded as the most successful equestrian in Asia, failed to add a record eighth medal to his tally as he finished fourth in the final. 
 
His downfall started in the second qualifier when he dropped from the medal positions by making a costly course error. 
 
Jacqueline Wing Ying Siu of Hong Kong, China, failed to collected high marks for her podium attack as the 23-year-old European championship medallist finished seventh on her debut in Asiad. 



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