Thursday, 18 July 2024
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Chinese Asian Games are ruined by politics and officiating mistakes

  • The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou was a soft power success for China.
  • North Korea showed up in force for its first significant sporting event since the 2018 Asian Games.
  • North Korea was bitterly disappointed after losing to Japan 2-1 in the men’s soccer quarterfinals.

The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou was a soft power success for China, with no significant security breaches and a record number of gold medals won by its competitors. The event was hampered by strained relations on the diplomatic front, shoddy officiating, and a lack of responsibility on the part of the organizing committees.

Three Indian athletes were unable to compete before the opening ceremony due to a visa issue, and the Indian sports minister canceled a scheduled trip to the Games in retaliation. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) initially stated that it was looking into the matter but made no more comments.

Chinese Asian Games

After closing its doors to the rest of the world and international drug testers for years, North Korea showed up in force for its first significant sporting event since the 2018 Asian Games.

The flag of the isolated country is forbidden at multisport competitions outside of the Olympics, but it was flown at Hangzhou with OCA support. Due to COVID-19, the competition was held a year later than expected and featured 12,400 competitors from 45 nations.

The 40-sport schedule lacked many events of elite caliber, but there were some incredible feats, particularly in the pool, where China’s swimmers excelled. 28 of the 41 titles were won by China, who continued its comeback following a successful world championship in Fukuoka.

Zhang Yufei, the butterfly queen, and Qin Haiyang, the breaststroke king, together winning 11 gold medals, were named the MVPs of the Games.

In advance of the sport’s Olympic debut in Paris, breakdancers participated in competition at the Games for the first time. South Korean gamer Lee Sang-hook, who won gold and a much sought-after exemption from South Korea’s mandatory military duty, proved that esports’ debut as a medal event was a success.

Great high jump by Qatar Although Mutaz Barshim easily won his third gold medal at the Asian Games, the athletics were marred by controversy and mistakes by the officials. An official was struck by a carelessly thrown hammer, breaking their leg and causing severe bleeding.

When officials disqualified India’s Jyothi Yarraji after Wu Yanni of China had a blatant false start in the women’s 100m hurdles, the race deteriorated into farce. When India’s men’s cricket championship match against Afghanistan was postponed due to rain, Afghanistan was helpless.

North Korea was bitterly disappointed after losing to Japan 2-1 in the men’s soccer quarterfinals. Seven athletes from the Games were reported to have been banned for adverse drug tests, including a Turkmenistan competitor who won silver in the central Asian wrestling competition known as “kurash.”

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