Asian Games 2018: Will China emerge once again as Asia's Sporting Powerhouse?
The 2018 Asian Games got off to a sensational start on August 18 with a glittering opening ceremony at the GBK Main Stadium in Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta. The Asian Games being hosted by Indonesia shall witness 45 Asian nations compete across 40 sports disciplines to vie for ultimate sporting laurels at the continents' showpiece multi sporting event.
CHINA LEADS THE ALL TIME MEDAL TALLY AT THE ASIAN GAMES
If we go into the history of the Asian Games, China has been the nation to beat at every passing edition of the sporting carnival. Ever since 1974 when China started participating at the Asian Games, it has exerted its authority as the dominant power in Asian Sports. China's sheer dominance can be highlighted from the fact that they have finished on top of the medal tally in all editions of the Asian Games since 1982.
China is the runaway leader with the most medals won by a nation at Asian Games. China’s all time tally of 2898 medals at the Asian Games is second to none. With a rich haul of 345 medals, China finished atop the medal standings at the last edition of the Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea.
China's hegemony at Asian Games can rightfully be compared to USA and erstwhile Soviet Union's domination at the Olympics. China's recipe to success lies in the fact that they are not a one sport nation and have produced world class athletes across diverse sporting disciplines.
CHINESE HAVE DOMINATED TABLE TENNIS, BADMINTON, DIVING, WEIGHTLIFTING AND SHOOTING AT THE ASIAN GAMES
At the Asian Games, the Chinese have been all conquering in sports like table tennis, badminton, gymnastics, shooting, diving, weightlifting, wushu, athletics, sailing, rowing and fencing. They are also a force to reckon in swimming, basketball, handball, football, volleyball, archery, judo and cycling.
China shattered the record books when they won a stupendous 199 Golds, 119 silvers and 98 bronze medals at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. The rich haul of 416 medals was by far the most by a nation at one edition of the Asian Games.
SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN, IRAN AND HAVE POSED AS MAJOR RIVALS TO CHINESE ACROSS SPORTING DISCIPLINES
It hasn't been a cakewalk for the East Asian powerhouse as they have been challenged to the hilt by continental big guns like South Korea, Japan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Thailand and India across sporting disciplines. Over the years China had to fend off a strong challenge from Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan in badminton. The Chinese paddlers have been pushed to the limits by their Japanese and South Korean counterparts. In shooting, China have been given tough competition by South Korean, Japanese, Thai and Indian marksmen.
It is no hidden secret that China has been a dominant force in Table Tennis and Chinese paddlers have ruled the world stage for a very long time. With the likes of Wang Liqin, Ma Long, Zhang Zike, Wang Hao, Ma Lin, Xu Xin and Chen Qi to name a few, China has been a cut above the rest of the field in Asia.
China successfully managed to dethrone Indonesia as the Kings of Asian Badminton. The turn of the century saw a plethora of world class shuttlers spearheaded by multiple Olympic and World Champion Lin Dan. Dan along with Chen Jin, Chen Hong, Bao Chunlai and Chen Long took Chinese badminton to lofty heights.
At the 2018 Asian Games, China with a 800 plus strong contingent embarks upon yet another successful campaign with an aim to cement their Numero Uno status in the Asian sporting landscape. It would be interesting to see whether China's fierce rivals South Korea and Japan can step up their performance across sporting disciplines and dethrone the East Asian Dragon as the number one Asian sporting nation or will China continue to reign supreme over Asian Sports landscape.