China leads medal table as Asian Games close
Updated: 2014-10-04 20:28
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A spectacular ceremony at Incheon's Asiad stadium officially marked the end of a Games that was hailed as a brilliant success and a model for future multi-sports events despite being tarnished by doping, crime and rows over religious freedom, women's rights and judging.
China dominated the medals tables in Incheon, winning 151 of the 439 gold medals on offer. The host-nation South Korea was second with 79 golds, followed by Japan with 47.
Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino was named as the outstanding athlete of the Games after scooping up seven medals, including four golds. Of the 45 competing nations, 37 won medals.
"That's 82 percent of NOCs (National Olympic Committees), that have won at least one medal, which means all athletes have represented their country well," said OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
"The top five nations of the Asian Games medal tally are in the top 20 at the Olympics, which means Asia can meet the international standards."
It is a trend that the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) hopes will not only safeguard the future of the Asian Games but also help continue the dramatic growth of the event from its humble beginnings to one of the world's mega sporting festivals.
It already has more sports than the summer Olympics and almost as many athletes, drawn from the world's most populated region, and could get even bigger.
The OCA general assembly voted to allow Oceania countries to compete at the next Asian Indoor Games, a move that could pave the way for countries like Australia to join the main Asian Games in the future.
"The positive signals are from the whole picture. This Asian Games has become like the Olympics," said Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
"Everyone is smiling and I think everyone was satisfied with the success of the Games. But also, we are keen to reach to be better, and learn lessons for the future."