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China delivers Asian Games success, cementing status as sporting giant


Chinese delegation during the closing ceremony of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, October 8, 2023. /CFP

Chinese delegation during the closing ceremony of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, October 8, 2023. /CFP

Chinese delegation during the closing ceremony of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, October 8, 2023. /CFP

With an extraordinary 75-minute pageant that seamlessly fused technology, theater, acrobatics and glimpses of Chinese cultural splendor, Hangzhou bid adieu to the Asian Games on Sunday night, capping two weeks of astonishing athletic accomplishments that left the sporting world in awe.

The showpiece event, boasting an astonishing array of 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 481 events, surpassed all previous editions in scale and grandeur. The gathering of over 12,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions left an indelible mark on the record books, shattering an impressive 97 tournament records, 26 Asian records and 13 world records. 

True to form, hosts China secured an astounding 201 gold medals, accompanied by 111 silvers and 71 bronzes. This outstanding achievement not only earned them the top spot on the medal tally for the 11th consecutive edition since 1982, but also surpassed their previous record of 199 golds set in Guangzhou 2010. 

Team China asserted their absolute prowess in disciplines where they hold a distinct advantage. As the envy of the world, the Chinese diving team, known as the “Dream Team,” swept all 10 gold medals across all diving events, continuing their incredible streak of never letting a gold medal slip away since their participation in the Asian Games.

Quan Hongchan (L) and Chen Yuxi of China pose with their gold medals after winning the diving women's 10-meter synchronized platform final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China's Zhejiang Province, September 30, 2023. /CFP

Quan Hongchan (L) and Chen Yuxi of China pose with their gold medals after winning the diving women’s 10-meter synchronized platform final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China’s Zhejiang Province, September 30, 2023. /CFP

Quan Hongchan (L) and Chen Yuxi of China pose with their gold medals after winning the diving women’s 10-meter synchronized platform final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China’s Zhejiang Province, September 30, 2023. /CFP

The Chinese swimming team also lived up to the high expectations, capturing 28 gold, 21 silver and nine bronze medals to clinch their position at the top of the swimming medal tally. They have also broken Asian Games records 22 times, with athletes such as Zhang Yufei and Qin Haiyang displaying formidable competitiveness in their respective events. 

In the realm of athletics, Team China shined brightly. Their athletics team secured a haul of 19 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals, solidifying their position as the reigning champions in the athletics medal tally for the 10th consecutive Asian Games since the 1986 Seoul Games. 

Notably, in the marathon event, He Jie made a monumental breakthrough by capturing China’s first-ever gold medal in the men’s marathon in the history of the Asian Games, clocking in at a time of 2 hours, 13 minutes and 2 seconds.

Qin Haiyang (2nd L), Zhang Yufei (3rd L) and teammates celebrate after the mixed 4x100m medley relay final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 27, 2023. /CFP

Qin Haiyang (2nd L), Zhang Yufei (3rd L) and teammates celebrate after the mixed 4x100m medley relay final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 27, 2023. /CFP

Qin Haiyang (2nd L), Zhang Yufei (3rd L) and teammates celebrate after the mixed 4x100m medley relay final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 27, 2023. /CFP

Meanwhile, the Chinese shooting team have been in a league of their own, bagging 16 out of the 33 gold medals up for grabs in all shooting events at this year’s tournament. With a haul of 16 gold, nine silver and four bronze medals, they have firmly secured the top position in both the shooting medal tally and the overall medal tally. In addition to their dominance, they have also shattered three world records.

One standout performer is the sensational 19-year-old Sheng Lihao, who stunned everyone by claiming the gold medal in the men’s 10-meter air rifle individual event with a phenomenal score of 253.3. This achievement not only earned him the gold but also set new world, Asian and tournament records in the process. 

In the highly anticipated sports of football, basketball and volleyball, Chinese players made their mark with two gold, one silver and two bronze medals. The Chinese women’s basketball team stood atop the highest podium for the seventh time in Asian Games history, while the women’s volleyball team won their ninth title. The Chinese women’s football team and men’s basketball team both pocketed bronze medals. 

China's He Jie celebrates after winning the men's marathon event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, October 5, 2023. /CFP

China’s He Jie celebrates after winning the men’s marathon event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, October 5, 2023. /CFP

China’s He Jie celebrates after winning the men’s marathon event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, October 5, 2023. /CFP

Furthermore, after a 17-year hiatus, the Chinese men’s volleyball team made a triumphant return to the finals, earning a well-deserved silver medal. The Chinese men’s football team also made significant progress, reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2006 Doha Asian Games. 

Not to be outdone, the Chinese women’s field hockey team reclaimed the Asian Games title after a 13-year gap. Zhang Zhizhen etched his name in history as the first male tennis singles winner at the Asian Games from the Chinese mainland in 29 years. Hua Tian played a crucial role in breaking the gold medal drought for China in the equestrian event. 

In the emerging sports, China’s Liu Qingyi stole the limelight by wining the first-ever women’s breakdancing gold medal in Asian Games history. As breakdancing secures its place in the upcoming Paris Olympics, Liu’s performance in Hangzhou not only showcased her exceptional talent but also highlighted her immense potential to leave a lasting impression on the global stage. 

China's Zhang Zhizhen reacts after winning the tennis men's singles final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 30, 2023. /CFP

China’s Zhang Zhizhen reacts after winning the tennis men’s singles final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 30, 2023. /CFP

China’s Zhang Zhizhen reacts after winning the tennis men’s singles final at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 30, 2023. /CFP

“Chinese athletes greatly cherish the opportunity to compete on their home turf, passionately upholding the Olympic spirit and the essence of Chinese sports,” observed Zhou Jinqiang, deputy chief of the Chinese delegation.

“Within the arena, they show utmost respect for the rules, referees and their opponents, relentlessly pursuing greatness and pushing their own boundaries. Beyond the confines of the competition, they warmly engage in friendly exchanges and enthusiastic interactions with athletes from diverse nations and regions who have gathered in Hangzhou. 

“They wholeheartedly embrace their role as hosts, actively contributing to the success of the Hangzhou Asian Games.”



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