How will stock exchange investors interpret the Abbasiya Coptic Cathedral explosion?    Egypt: 3 days of mourning after blast left 25 Christians dead    U.S. Embassy condemns attack on Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo    BREAKING: 25 dead, 35 injured in explosion inside Coptic Cathedral in Cairo    Turkey declares national day of mourning following Istanbul attack    Libyan MP: Turkey &Qatar conspire to inflame Arab conflict    Australia designates Egyptian ISIS 'Wilayat Sinai' as terrorist group    Court's death sentence on Habara angers MB    Islamic law is opulent & resilient, Grand Imam of al-Azhar    Al-Sisi inaugurates first regular monthly youth conference    Egypt calls Face-book &Twitter to suspend 'Hasm' terrorist group's accounts    Cassation Court revokes Safwat El-Sherif's jail sentence in illicit gains case    Kashima Antlers advance to second round of FIFA 2016 Club Word Cup    Paris hosts foreign ministers for diplomatic meeting on Syria conflict    RiseUp Summit 2016 kicks off on Friday    Cooperation protocol between Banque du Caire, 10th of Ramadan Investors Association to finance SMEs    Ministry of Endowments forms committee to review religious discourse, sermons plans    Second bombing in Egypt kills 1 civilian, injures 3 security personnel    Three students journey, from Al-Azhar to terrorism (3-3): Ali Saad from school to Syria    Shukri: Arab security depends on understanding between KSA & Egypt    New fund for heritage    The best is yet to come    El Clasico empties Egypt's streets    Give and take    Pound stabilising on the expense of stagflation    Digest    Judges given final say on protests    Getting ready for President Trump    Iranian ambition vs Arab division    CINEMA    Second pardons planned    THEATRE    A historic agreement    Infections in injections?    Sisi: God is on our side against terrorism    Human rights lawyer Azza Soliman released on EGP 20,000 bail    Immigrant lives at mercy of German bureaucracy, knows very well he has no asylum rights    Historical Intercontinental Hotel will not be demolished: Mohammed Abu Saada    Cairo Art Fair: the city's largest showroom for contemporary art    Bibliotheca Alexandrina hosts Youth Science Film Festival for 2nd year    Egypt signs 3 agreements worth EGP 2.5 Billion with Kuwait    China signs '$2.62 billion' currency swap deal with Egypt    Egypt's women champions continue victories in the world of squash    Tunisian cinema critic: Culture is the way to defeat extremism    Egypt comes out on top at 2016 Women's World Team Squash Championship    US & Egypt stress on protecting human antiquities against 'treachery'    Brazil football team Chapecoense in Colombia plane crash    Egypt organises American football league, first time in the Middle East    







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.