Games with a Chinese flavour

Games with a Chinese flavour

India keen to repeat CWG heroics at the Asian Games that begins today

Games with a Chinese flavour

The world’s most populous nation has worked with tremendous zeal and determination over the years to become the top sporting nation on the planet, as evidenced by its exploits at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.

In comparison, the continental fiesta that brings 45 National Olympic Associations of the region together isn’t much of a challenge to the host nation of the 16th edition. For, from 1982 onwards, no other country in Asia has managed to even threaten this nation’s position atop the medal’s table.

Even so, the urge to better themselves, to explore the depths of their talent and to seek the unknown has driven them on. The Asian Games in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, is a perfect opportunity for the exercise and the nation looks all set to grab it with both hands.

Opening ceremony

For starters, a spectacular ceremony has been planned to open the Games on Friday, with the hosts deciding to take the programme outside the boundaries defined by a stadium. The Pearl river that runs through the city and Haixinsha, an island on it, will be the stages for the ceremony, with water playing an important role.

Martial art displays and brilliant fireworks will form part of the programme, which, according to its creative director Chen Weiya, will be the most unique yet.

“I don’t know whether there will be a better opening ceremony of the Asian Games in the future but I think this is the best and the most unique one yet,” he said on the eve of the opening fete.

On the sporting front, China’s domination is unlikely to be questioned, with the hosts a class apart in a wide range of sports – from shooting to swimming and from track and field to table tennis. India, a distant planet from the Chinese sporting sun, too has ambitions of a better medal haul this time, with its confidence boosted by the performance at the Commonwealth Games.

However, the contests and their intensity will be at a much higher level here and even their best might not be enough to make an impact this time, especially after the strenuous efforts that pushed them to the second spot in Delhi last month.

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