Ri Se Gwang won the first vault title for DPR Korea in their Asian Games' history with a score of 16.625 points at Doha Asiad on Wednesday.
Ri finished two high-difficulty vault with solidity to collect an average of 16.625 point over two routines, lifting DPRK their first ever vault and also the third gold at Doha 2006. Hong Su Jong won the uneven bars and Jo JONG Chol shared the pommel horse title for DPR Korea on Tuesday.
Malaysia's NG Shu Wai finished second with 16.487 to take the silver, in spite of stepping out in his first routine. Yernar Yerimbetov of Kazakhstan was third on 16.300 points.
Ri Se Gwang ranked second for the final but had the highest single vault score during qualification at 16.650.
DPR Korea's last medal is a bronze on the apparatus by Li Gu Sil in New Delhi in 1982. Ri lifted the score of his second vault at the final for his gold medal assault and Ri successfully improved over the silver he won at the 2006 Asian Championships with an average of 16.313 points.
NG Shu Wai ranked first after qualification. He withdrew from the Dec. 4 all-around final with blistered palms. NG wanted to ensure he would be in the best possible condition for his final, where he will try to win Malaysia the first Asian Games medal in gymnastics. NG was the only qualifier with two vault scores above 16.000 and finally brought home the silver.
Yernar Yerimbetov of Kazakhstan vaulted conservatively during qualification, but still earned himself a score of 15.925. He is the most experienced international finalist in the field and narrowly missed a medal at this year's world championships in Aarhus of Denmark, finishing fourth.
During the final, he vaulted solidly but could not close the 0. 113 gap with bronze medallist Fabian Hambuechen. Yerimbetov has won several medals at the world cup, most recently a silver in Paris. He finished fourth at the last Asian Games in Busan. The bronze is also the first medal for Kazakhstan on vault at an Asian Games.
The men's vault final always draws a crowd at the international events when gymnasts attempt multiple twists and somersaults in every direction to earn the vaulting crown.