In a world of perfection, it is only natural to look at the one gold medal that China missed to make it a perfect 200, but the host has shown that it will not be intimidated by its own records, with a breathtaking show of sports power in the Asian Games.

By winning the volleyball gold after a hesitant start for the 199th gold in the last event of the Games, China revealed the secret of its success.

Women power

Yes, it is its women power. The Chinese women accounted for 112 of the 199 gold medals, 67 of the 119 silver medals and 41 of the 98 bronze medals in the overall tally. No wonder China outclassed Korea (75) and Japan (48) in the gold hunt.

China won most of its gold medals in swimming (24), shooting (21), artistic gymnastics (13), athletics (12), diving (10), rowing (10), dance sport (10), wushu (9), canoeing and kayaking (9), cycling (8), table tennis (7), badminton (5), boxing (5), billiard sports (4), bowling (4), fencing (4), sailing (4), taekwondo (4), and some of them in games like chess (3), synchronised swimming (3), dragon boat (3), basketball (2), tennis (2), beach volleyball (2), judo (2), karate (2), modern pentathlon (2), trampoline gymnastics (2), xiangqi (2), handball (1), hockey (1), roller sports (1), soft tennis (1), water polo (1), volleyball (1).

It showed how China not only focused on the 28 Olympic disciplines, but on every gold medal that was on offer, in the 42 sports.

The Chef de Mission of the Chinese delegation, Duan Shijie, captured the essence by saying that the Chinese performance in the Games showed the economic development during the last 30 years and the civilisation levels of the country. “National development will be followed by the development of sports”, he said.

Diversity of sports

Going further into the other aspects, Duan Shijie said, “China is a multi-ethnic nation with a large population. Hence it requires the diversity of sports. Most of the youth in China has the demand for sports”, even as he emphasised the willingness of China to participate in minority sports that highlight Asian cultures and learn from others. What he did not say was China's ability to beat the rest in their own game.

The love for sports of the Chinese people, as was evident with 80,000 turning up to see Liu Xiang perform a hat-trick of titles in the 110 metres hurdles, has been the foundation for the Chinese domination in the world of sports.

China showed it in the Beijing Olympics to the world, and has given a preview to the rest of Asia, of what it would possibly strike in the next Olympics in London in 2012.

Ready to introspect

“China has been ranked first the last eight times in Asian Games. It shows the high competitiveness of Chinese people in Asia, our economic strength and the sports management and facilities we provide. Of the 199 gold, 74 are in non-Olympic sports. In Olympic events, China performed well in some while not so well in others. The situation seems not so optimistic for our preparation for the London 2012 Olympics”, said Cai Jiadong, the secretary general of the Chinese delegation, ready to introspect even at the moment of glory.

Lauding the fine effort of the host, the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah had no hesitation in describing the Guangzhou edition as “the best Asian Games ever”.

The OCA president also pointed out that 36 of the 45 nations had won medals in 53 world class venues, 28 of those nations also won at least one gold, and that the congregation of 10,156 athletes had made three world records and 103 Asian records in 42 sports. Over 250,000 accreditation cards were issued and two million tickets sold.


Lessons from GuangzhouNovember 29, 2010

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