Riot of colours signals end

Riot of colours signals end

Extraordinary Games, gushes OCA president

Riot of colours signals end

At the Haixinsha island on the Pearl river, the closing ceremony didn’t raise the bar in terms of creativity, but it was a riot of colour nevertheless with music from diverse cultures providing a treat for the senses.

With a record medal haul that included 199 gold -- bettering their 1990 record of 183 -- behind them, China had every reason to party and this time, the guests who came from far and wide ‘left their songs behind’.

India provided a touch of Bollywood with Tanya Gupta and Ravi Tripathi rendering Saajanji Ghar Aaye from Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, while songs and dances from Japan, Mongolia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Lebanon generated an electrifying ambience for the athletes to walk in.

Forgetting the rivalries of the past two weeks, they soaked in the atmosphere as the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, declared the Games closed, ending an event that took the sport in the continent to new frontiers.

China, as expected, dominated but striking was the improvement made by some other nations, most notably Iran. They ended with a tally of 20 gold medals, and the presence of their women in sports like wushu and kabaddi added depth to the competition.

The OCA chief earlier described the 16th edition of the Games as ‘extraordinary’. “The Games has been a success and one of our best Games ever in the history of the Asiad movement.”

The flag and torch of the Asian Games movement were then handed over to South Korean Olympic Association officials, with Incheon being the host of the next edition of the Games in 2014.

As the Games flame slowly died out, an energetic performance by the Koreans and spectacular fireworks brought curtains down on the evening and also to fourteen days of wonderful sport.

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