Gold drops on steady dollar with Fed rate hike in focus    Gulf stocks move little in thin trade    US to blame for trade talks failure; says French minister    China wants a successful G20 but suspects West may derail agenda    Zika cases in Singapore hit 41 as NEA ramps up mosquito fogging; more cases expected    Sharp wants to team up with Japan Display in OLED    Uber, Careem suspend services in UAE capital    Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia have surpassed disputes over GERD: Sudanese FM    Russian mission to inspect Egypt airports amid expectations of flight resumption    11 killed in car collision in Upper Egypt's Sohag    Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing for Gaza pilgrims    Egypt studies possible reconciliation with Mubarak-era industry minister    Matt Damon climbs up Forbes' Hollywood rich list    Messages from Al-Sisi    Rush to Assad    Russian flights back soon?    Marriage of convenience    An Israeli hand not shaken    Do Palestinian refugees exist?    Martin Jol and Ahly part ways    Grilled on wheat and a five-star hotel    Feeling the pinch    Dealing with half-truths    CINEMA    Church building stirs controversy    Destination Marsa Alam    The Brotherhood and Salafis    Why we prefer old movies    MUSIC AND DANCE    New roles for the palace?    South Africa's Semenya takes 800 metres gold    After the party: Rio wakes up to an Olympic hangover    Mo Farah completes historic double-double with 5,000m win in Rio    Nile management    Rowling returns to Harry Potter's world with new ebooks    New Bridget Jones book to be published in October    Court sentences Geneina to 1 year in prison    Egypt will always remain an oasis of security: Sisi    Egyptian Exchange gains EGP 2 billion on Thursday    Obama Passes Torch to Clinton, Slams Trump    Egypt in the international media    Azhar rejects Egypt govt decision to standardise Friday sermons    British delegation agreed MB designation as a terrorist group, MPs    Egypt in the international media    Egyptian Lebanese House to release Shahawy's new book next month    Antiquities Min. to extend Archaeological Transcripts& Books Fair    Ronaldo pledges to 'come back stronger' after knee injury    Dortmund in talks with Bayern Munich over Goetze return - report    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





A star afar
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 07 - 12 - 2006

China is light years ahead in the Asian Games, leaving Japan and South Korea to fight for second place, writes Nashwa Abdel-Tawab
Four days into the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, China topped the table with 51 medals, followed by Japan with 27 medals, and South Korea with 26. The 31 gold medals for China, as opposed to the seven gold captured by Japan, attests to China edging closer to becoming a sporting superpower in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The success of these three countries has created an imbalance in the Asian Games which now focuses more on the Far East than on the 45 countries in general.
For long Japan sat pretty atop the medal table at each Asian Games, but having lost that honour to rivals China at the 1982 edition of the Games in New Delhi, they have since slipped to third behind Korea in all but the Hiroshima Games of 1994.
This means that the 628-strong Japanese delegation arrived in Doha for the Asian Games on a mission to not only reclaim second spot, but to also haul themselves closer to China, who won 150 gold medals in Busan four years ago in comparison to their rivals' 44 -- less than half the Korean tally of 96.
Japan though still leads the way in the number of Asian Games medals won overall with 2,188 in comparison to China's 1,799 and the 1,356 of Korea. While they have won more silver (746) and bronze (654) medals, however, it is China who have won more gold medals with 819 to Japan's 788.
The dominance of these three Asian superpowers is easy to see when you consider that the fourth most successful Asian Games nation is India with a total of 427 medals -- which equates to only a fifth of the number won by Japan alone -- and that divide is sure to widen further in Doha.
In fact when you add all of the medals won by all the other countries and regions they add up to 3,721, significantly less than the 5,343 of China, Japan and Korea put together.
The Japanese squad charged with reclaiming second spot in Asia -- as they did at the Athens Olympic Games of 2004 -- is made up of 352 male and 276 female athletes, some 30 fewer than the number who returned from Busan with 190 medals.
This slight reduction is, however, according to Japanese Olympic Committee vice president Tsutomu Hayashi, merely down to the focus on winning more gold medals in Doha. "We have cut our size because our aim is to win medals," Hayashi said. "We want to put our gold medal target above 50. We want to overtake Korea and climb to second place."
Their best-ever Olympic performance was at the Olympics in Athens when they won a record 37 medals, 16 of them gold. That means Japan will arrive confident of overhauling Korea for the coveted second spot as they build towards the Beijing Olympics.
"We regard the Asian Games as an important step toward the Beijing Olympics. If we can't win in Asia, we cannot fight in Beijing," Hayashi added.
Japan's best hopes of medals are in swimming, women's wrestling, judo and athletics with team captain Kosuke Kitajima and flagbearer Saori Yoshida among the athletes expected to retain their Asian Games titles.


Clic here to read the story from its source.