With the XVIII edition of Asian Games coming to an end there is an understandable excitement in the Indian Camp; the Indian Contingent has achieved its best medal tally at the games - a whopping 69 medals, including 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. The Indian contingent could however only finish 8th which was the same rank that we achieved at the XVII Asian Games, Incheon where we ended up with 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze medals.
But with a better infrastructure, influx of good specialist coaches, improved efficiency of SAI (Sports Authority of India) and a sound support system put in place by the government there is only one way where we are headed. So the only question which arises is when and where will we get our next opportunity to prove our mettle to the world.
Where will the Games take place?
The XIX Asiad is planned to take place in Hangzhou, China. Hangzhou is a breathtakingly beautiful city as well as the capital of the Zhejiang province in East China. It is almost 1300 Kms or a 2-hour flight from Beijing which also hosted the 1990 Asian Games.
Incidentally, Hangzhou [pronounced Hang-'chow'] will be the 3rd Chinese city (Guangzhou hosted the 2010 edition of the Asian Games) to host the Asian Games and will match South Korea (Seoul 1996, Busan 2002 and Incheon 2014) as the only other nation to achieve this feat. However, quite surprisingly, it is Bangkok, Thailand which has played host the most number of times as it held the Asian Games in 1966, 1970, 1978, 1998.
When will the 19th Edition of Games be held?
The XIX edition of the Asian Games will be held between September 10 and September 25, 2022. The opening ceremony will be held at Hangzhou Sports Park Stadium.
The 3 adorable mascots of the 18th Asian Games - Bhin Bhin, Atung and Kaka - definitely won everyone's hearts in Palembang and Jakarta and will be looking forward to passing the baton to the next Mascot(s) which are still to be announced for the Hangzhou Games.
Expectations from the XIX Asiad
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The realistic expectation for the Indian Contingent will be to break into the Top 5 (we were short by 6 Gold Medals in these games) and/or target 25 Gold Medals in the next edition of the Asian Games. Personally, I believe 100 medals in total is also within the reach of our nation and with TOPS scheme into play - SKY IS THE LIMIT.