The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games have come to a close after 16 days of intense and exciting competition.
South Korea, which sent the largest contingent of athletes to the Games, saw some dramatic wins and disappointing losses, but ended the Games with the fruits of five years of sweat. Swimming, fencing, and taekwondo were the first sports to report victories, followed by archery, table tennis, badminton, weightlifting, soccer, and baseball.
The 19th Hangzhou Asian Games came to a close with the closing ceremony at 9 p.m. on Aug. 8 at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China.
Director Xiao Lan, who directed the opening ceremony, was also in charge of the closing ceremony. It was a romantic and touching celebration of the achievements of the athletes and the unity of the Asian continent, as well as the work of the volunteers who helped organize the Games.
The closing ceremony also featured a spectacular stage production with AI technology. Lotus and cassia flowers filled the stadium. Athletes from 45 countries were free to enjoy the closing ceremony, and the 80,000 spectators in the stadium welcomed them home.
The Games, which were postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, were attended by more than 12,500 athletes from 45 countries, who competed for 481 gold medals over 16 days from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8.
South Korea sent a record-breaking 1,140 athletes to compete in 39 events and won 42 gold, 59 silver and 89 bronze medals, falling short of its goal of 50 gold, but finishing third overall.
Host China led the way with 201 gold medals, followed by Japan in second place with 52 gold medals. North Korea, making its first international appearance in a long time, finished 10th with 11 gold, 18 silver, and 10 bronze medals. Chinese swimming stars Zhang Yufei and Qin Haiyang were named MVPs of the Games by the Asian Olympic Council (OCA). Zhang Yufei showed off her skills to the fullest with six gold medals, while Qin Haiyang dominated the competition with five.
For the first time, the KOC’s own Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards were given to Kim Woo-min and archer Lim Im-hyun (Korea Gymnastics). Kim Woo-min (men’s freestyle 400-800m, 800m freestyle relay) and Lee Im-hyun (women’s individual, team and mixed events) tied for three titles.
Ahn Se-young (Samsung Life) in badminton and Shin Yubin (Korean Air) in table tennis were recognized for their efforts with the Commitment Award and Achievement Award, respectively.
Korea did well in its traditional medal fields of fencing archery taekwondo.
It was swimming that attracted the most attention and popularity. Korea’s swimming team, which had been outclassed by the likes of China and Japan in the Asian region, had a strong showing, with top Asian swimmers including triple gold medalist Kim Woo-min, Hwang Sun-woo and Ji Yoo-chan winning six gold, six silver and 10 bronze medals.
Shin Yoo-bin and Shin Jin-hee in women’s doubles table tennis, Ahn Se-young in women’s singles badminton, and Yoon Ji-soo in fencing brought home gold medals in their respective sports after a long absence. There were also gold medals for the men’s team in Go, which was reinstated after a 13-year absence, and men’s golf.
It’s also noteworthy that baseball won its fourth consecutive gold medal and soccer won its third. As they are the most popular sports in Korea, fans cheered and criticized them during every game, which put a lot of pressure on the athletes, but they eventually 스포츠토토 came back with gold medals. Volleyball and basketball, on the other hand, have been disappointing, raising the need for a new era.
After lighting up Hangzhou, the torch will now head to Aichi and Nagoya, Japan, where the next Games will be held. The next Games will be held three years later in 2026.