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Tottenham's Son still up for army reprieve; Clarkson blow


AP Sports Writer

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) Tottenham forward Son Heung-min is still on target for an Asian Games gold medal that will earn a reprieve from military service.

Son's South Korea rallied to beat Uzbekistan 4-3 with a penalty late in extra time on Monday to advance to the semifinals.

The soccer title would come with a huge bonus: South Korea's government gives exemptions from compulsory national service to those who win an Asian Games gold or any Olympic medal.

A loss in the next two games will likely mean a serious disruption to his Premier League career in the next few years.

Elsewhere, Jordan Clarkson will report back for duty at the Cleveland Cavaliers without a medal.

Clarkson got special permission from the NBA to join the Philippines basketball team at the Games, which attracts more than 11,000 athletes in 40 sports.

The Cavs guard led his team with 25 points but the Philippines lost 91-82 to the defending champion South Koreans.

U.S.-born forward Ricardo Ratliffe had 30 points and 14 rebounds for South Korea, which will meet Japan in the semifinals.

Clarkson missed the opening win over Kazakhstan and had a game-high 28 points in the 82-80 group-stage loss to China. The Chinese team contains NBA players Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuhang and has had Yao Ming watching from the stands.

"Everybody stepped up to guard Jordan Clarkson. I think we defended him really well in the first half," Ratliffe said.

Philippines coach Joseller Guiao said his team, which wasted an eight-point lead early in the second half, lacked experience and was missing too many regulars. Ten players were suspended following a wild brawl in a World Cup qualifier against Australia in July.

"It was very close until the last five minutes," he said. "But again, it's just the maturity of this team - we've been together for less than three weeks."

Badminton is drawing capacity crowds in Jakarta, where Indonesian players are in contention for gold.

Chou Tien-chen ended any chance of an all-Indonesian men's singles title showdown after rallying to beat Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 16-21, 23-21, 21-17 in the semifinals. He next faces local hope Jonatan Christie, who registered a 21-15, 15-21, 21-19 win over Japan's Kenta Nishimoto and peeled off his shirt to celebrate.

India's Olympic silver medalist Pusarla Venkata Sindhu advanced to the women's badminton final against top-ranked Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan, who beat India's Saina Nehwal.

In the wake of the women's dragon boat crew who delivered the first ever Games gold for a unified Korean team in the 500 meters, the men's paddlers claimed bronze in the 1,000 meters behind Taiwan and Indonesia.

Organizers in Jakarta and Palembang said in an update after the first full week of competition that ticket sales had improved after initial distribution problems.

They also highlighted the six world records set - including the long-standing marks lowered by Chinese swimmer Liu Xiang in the women's 50-meter backstroke and Iran's Sohrab Moradi's snatch in the weightlifting 94-kilogram division.

Competitors from Afghanistan, China and Japan who were injured in paragliding accidents last week have all been released from hospital and are recovering well, organizers said.


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Updated August 27, 2018

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