China break all-Korean hearts in women's basketball thriller

Jakarta (AFP) –


China dashed the Unified Korea's hopes of an emotional women's basketball gold medal when they won a tense final 71-65 at the Asian Games on Saturday.

Lim Yung-hui top-scored with 24 points in a losing cause as China pulled away from 38-38 at half-time before holding off the Koreans in the final quarter.

Park Ji-su was in tears after the game as the Korean team, featuring players from both sides of the heavily fortified Korean border, came up short.

"I feel we didn't have enough time to practise together," said Lim Yung-hui. "We could have got a gold medal... we tried our best."

The Koreans were supported throughout the tournament by vocal fans brandishing blue and white Korean unification flags and wearing "One Corea" T-shirts.

The two Koreas marched together at the opening ceremony and also formed joint teams in canoeing, in which they won a gold and two bronze medals.

It follows similar gestures at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which set the stage for an unprecedented thaw in relations between the two countries still technically at war.