The 2010 Asian Games is set for November 12-27 in Guangzhou, China. The event is the world’s second biggest and most watched multi-sport competition, behind only the Olympics. A record 42 different sports will be contested at the 2010 Asian Games. Additionally, nearly all Asian countries have confirmed participation. Since this is a regional event, competition for medals at the Games is especially fierce as local rivals look to outdo each other in the medal standings. In this article, I will preview the 2010 Asian Games and offer medal predictions & schedule.
The Asian Games has historically been dominated by the continent’s three prominent countries-China, Japan, and South Korea. In fact, the trio has won over 50% of the all-time medals. As each sees the event as an opportunity to display its economic prowess, the three Asian powers invest just as much in their athletes for the Asian Games as they do for the Olympics. Added to the already contentious affair is the recent territorial dispute between China and Japan, which has led to a suspension of diplomatic ties. It is safe to say that Japanese athletes, competing at the 2010 Asian Games, won’t receive a friendly reception from the local Chinese crowd.
No other country in the world is more eager to use competitions like the Olympics and Asian Games to make a political and economic statement than red-star China. The country’s sole sporting purpose is to win as many medals (especially golds) as possible. In fact, most Chinese athletes undertake rigorous training from a very young age with the exclusive goal of winning medals at major competitions. This formula has worked well, and will continue to work well at the 2010 Asian Games and beyond. Since other sporting powers like the United States and Russia won’t be at the event, one would expect the host country to easily dominate the competition winning a majority of the medals.
China’s biggest competitor at the Asian Games will be Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun is the only other country (aside from the host) to have ever topped the medal standings at the Asiad. While Japan is unlikely to beat China in the medal tally, the country is expected to perform formidably in key disciplines such as athletics, swimming, gymnastics, judo, and wrestling. Another strong contender at the 2010 Games is South Korea. The East Asian country is competitive in all medal events, and is particularly strong with traditional Asian sports like archery, taekwondo, roller sports, and debutant Go. Other countries expected to do well include India, Iran, and Thailand.
My medal count predictions for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou: China wins a lion share of the medals; India (host of this year’s Commonwealth Games) will have its best Games yet. The event’s opening ceremony is set for Friday, November 12; the closing ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, November 27. Competition will officially start on November 13, though preliminary rounds for the football (or soccer) event will begin on November 7. In addition to traditional Olympic events, the Asiad also includes less featured sports and games such as chess, Go, dancesport, billiards, bowling, dragon boat, karate, roller sports, wushu, Sepaktakraw, Kabaddi, and soft tennis.