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Print Edition> Nation
UPDATED: December 3, 2010 NO. 49 DECEMBER 9, 2010
Hopes and Challenges
China tops the medal tally again at the Asian Games but still faces challenges in some events

BASKETBALL VICTORY: China's basketball team seals the 68-65 victory against Iran at the semifinal and advances to the gold medal game on November 25 (JIANG XIAOYING)

The curtain of the 16th Asian Games has fallen, but the 15 days of exciting competitions will be recorded in the history of the Games.

The Games held in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, had the most sports ever contested in the Games' 59-year history, as it included 28 Olympic and 14 non-Olympic sports that featured 476 events.

A total of 9,704 athletes from 45 countries and regions, 4,983 team officials, 4,191 technical officials and 9,939 journalists congregated for the largest-ever Asian Games.

Three world records were set in weightlifting and archery, together with 12 new Asian records in swimming and cycling.

Chinese weightlifter Li Ping broke the snatch and total world records in the women's 53-kg weightlifting on November 14, while South Korea's Kim Woo-Jin scored 1,387 points to beat the 144 arrows qualification round world mark in the men's individual archery event.

China stayed at the top of the medals table for the eighth successive time at the Asian Games after collecting 199 gold medals, 119 silvers and 98 bronzes in Guangzhou.

"The Guangzhou Asian Games had more events than ever and this is one of the reasons why China finished with so many gold medals," said Cai Jiadong, Secretary General of the Chinese delegation.

Among the gold medals China won at the Guangzhou Asian Games, 74 came from non-Olympic sports.

"The Asian Games are a testing ground that allows us to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics. It helped us find the right direction and sort out any problems," said Duan Shijie, Chef de Mission of the Chinese Sports Delegation to the Asian Games. "In some events we still have far to go."

Powerful sports

China continued its traditional dominance in swimming, track and field, diving, table tennis, badminton and gymnastics in Guangzhou, keeping a stranglehold on many of the titles.

The successful return of star hurdler Liu Xiang boosted the confidence of the delegation. On November 24, the 27-year-old former Olympic champion hurdler Liu stated his recovery from a stunning Beijing Olympics exit by winning the men's 110-meter hurdles gold with a new Asian record of 13.09 seconds.

Just two days before, Lao Yi, a 25-year-old sprinter, claimed a historic gold in the men's 100 meters with a 10.24 seconds time, becoming the first "Sprint King" from China at the Asian Games.

On November 26, Lao also led three other young sprinters to lift the men's 4x100 meters relay title by clocking a season best 38.78 seconds.

"In some events where we have a traditional advantage at the Olympics, such as table tennis, badminton, gymnastics and diving, we also achieved great results with mixed squads of veterans and youngsters," Duan said.

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