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Asian Games: Hagino relinquishes crown in shock defeat in 200 medley

Men's 200m individual medley gold medalist China's Wang Shun, center, stands with silver medalist Japan's Kosuke Hagino, left, and bronze medalist China's Qin Haiyang on the podium during the swimming competition at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Aug. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

JAKARTA (Kyodo) -- Rio Olympic champion Kosuke Hagino was almost certain he had successfully defended his Asian Games title in the 200-meter individual medley before China's Wang Shun rallied in the final 10 meters on Monday.

"My breaststroke swim was good and I thought, 'I can do it,' in the race but at the very last my body sort of stopped and fatigue burst out," Hagino told reporters at GBK Aquatic Center in Jakarta.

"I need to redo my training," said Hagino, who finished 1 minute, 56.75 seconds -- 0.23 slower than Wang.

Hagino, named the MVP at the previous 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, for winning seven medals including four golds, was a clear gold medal favorite.

He said he was all the more disappointed because he thought he has become good at freestyle. "But I still do not have the basics of it," Hagino said.

It was not all defeat for the 24-year-old in the evening, as he regrouped to help the Japanese team claim victory in the 4x200 freestyle relay in a games-record 7:05.17 seconds, 0.28 ahead of China, anchored by ace Sun Yang.

"I was very frustrated after the 200 IM and also got nervous about the 4x200 freestyle relay afterwards. But I was helped by my teammates who supported me," Hagino said. "The relay win means a lot for Japan as we could defeat China."

Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Hagino, who won 400 IM gold and in 200 IM silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said the current time may not prove it but he is "on course."

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