A total of 9,704 athletes from 45 countries and regions, 4,983 team officials, 4,191 technical officials and 9,939 journalists congregated in Guangzhou, China, for the largest-ever Asian Games in history. In all, 28 countries and regions pocketed gold, and 36 took home at least one medal, China daily reported.
The show began with the theme “Leave Your Song Here”, which included music and dance from China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Japan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The singers included Indian’s Tanya Gupta and Ravi Tripathi, who sang “Saajan ji Ghar Aaye”, Indonesian’s “Sing Sing So” and Japanese “Sakura”.
This year, the opening and closing ceremonies were held along the Pearl River in Haixinsha Island, and was the second time in history that the opening ceremony for a major sports event was not held inside a stadium. The final medal tally was led by traditional powerhouse China, followed by South Korea and third place Japan. China set a new Games record with 199 gold medals.
There are also many controversies and critics about the Asian Games in Guangzhou. One of them is the five debuts were included in Games like cricket and ten pin bowling etc. Also, about 1,400 random doping tests had been carried during the Games, two positive cases were found, judoka Shokir Muminov on 19 November 2010 and Greco-Roman wrestler Jakhongir Muminov on 24 November 2010, both from Uzbekistan and tested positive for methylhexanamine.
For the biggest Asian game in history to be successfull, huge sums of money came into play. The Mayor of Guangzhou Wan Qingliang officially revealed in a press conference one month before that the total cost of staging the Asian Games and Asian Para Games is about ￥122.6 billion ($17 billion), with ￥109 billion spent on infrastructure, ￥6.3 billion on the venues and some ￥7.3 billion spent on Games’ operation.
Closing the games, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said “although there were some incidents, like the problems between the two Koreas, and an athlete that used unfair technical equipment in the competition, I can now officially announce that the Guangzhou Asian Games is a success, and one of the best among all the Asian Games,” reported China Daily .
The next Asian Games will be held held in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
The Asian Games are important to the Continent as the games carry a message of harmony and friendship to the world. This year’s host of the games, China, is a symbol of harmony. Like the huge success the 2008 Olympic Games recorded in Beijing, the Asian Games have added another epaulet on China’s shoulders as a rising nation, not only in the economic sphere, but also in sports.
* Excerpts from China Daily were added to this report.