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OCA President declares close of Guangzhou Asian Games

Updated:2010-11-27 21:48:13 Source: Xinhua

Guangzhou, November 27 - The largest ever Asian Games lowered its curtain in a festive Closing Ceremony on Saturday night as host China swept 199 gold medals.

The Closing Ceremony of the 16th Asian Games is held at the Haixinsha Island in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, on Nov. 27, 2010.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of the Olympic Council of Asia, hails the Guangzhou Asiad "a huge success" and "the best ever" in history at the Haixinsha Island in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, on Nov. 27, 2010.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of the Olympic Council of Asia, hailed the Guangzhou Asiad "a huge success" and "the best ever" in history.

China, which also won 119 silvers and 98 bronzes, topped the table for the eighth straight time, smashing its best gold tally of 183, set in the 1990 Beijing Games.

Thirty-six out of the 45 participating teams medaled in the 16-day games, in which Korea garnered 232 medals including 76 gold, beating Japan into a third with 48 golds among 216 medals.

After Beijing hosted the Olympics and Shanghai the World Expo, Guangzhou seized the Asian Games as an opportunity to showcase its tradition and modernity to the world.

Different from the water-themed Opening Ceremony which paid tribute to the city's seafaring heritage, the finale was more like a singing and dancing gala.

Famous Asian artists such as China's Tang Can, India's Gupta Tanya and Rave Tripthi, Japan's Ryoko Nakano, Kazakhstan's Mayra Kerei performed folk songs of their origin.

The sail-shaped huge LED screen in the background interacted with the performance while changing lights helped transform the field of play into starry and blue sky, representative cultural and natural landscape of Asia, from which athletes and officials from all around the continent could found their familiar rhythm.

Three world records were set in Weightlifting and Archery, together with 12 new Asian records in Swimming and Cycling.

Chinese lifter Li Ping broke the snatch and total world records in the Women's 53kg Weightlifting, while Korea's Kim Woo-Jin garnered 1,387 points to beat the 144 arrows qualification round world mark in the Men's Archery.

Korean super star Park Tae-hwan, MVP in last Games, completed a golden triple in the pool by winning the 100m, 200m and 400m Freestyle. He also set a new Asian record over 200m. Hong Kong, China's cyclist Wong Wan Yiu claimed the silver despite a rib injury sustained in an early crash. Equestrian Kim Kyun-Sub from Korea realised his dream of winning gold to honour his uncle Kim Hyung Chil, who was killed at last Asian Games when his horse threw and crushed him.

Bangladesh and Macao of China were thrilled about their first ever Asian Games gold while Bhutan is happy for just being there.

"We are very proud to be here, we don't have to win any medals, just to participate is a big thing for a country like Bhutan," said Tshewang Nidup, Bhutan's Chef de Mission.

Afghanistan and Iraq concluded their campaigns by each winning three medals and finishing 31st and 32nd on the tally.

The Guangzhou Games had the most sports ever contested in the Games' 59-year history, as it included 28 Olympic sports and 14 non-Olympic which featured 476 events.

The Games witnessed the debuts of Cricket, DanceSport, Dragon Boat, Roller Sports, Weiqi and Xiangqi.

The Asiad sports are set to be reduced as next host Incheon has proposed cutting sports such as cricket and dance in response to the OCA's decision to downsize the Games.

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