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HANGZHOU, Oct 8, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable on Sunday to Chinese President Xi Jinping, congratulating him on the success of the 19th Asian Games, hosted by the Chinese city of Hangzhou. The smooth and seamless manner in which the event panned out depicted China in a positive light, garnering the adulation of the entire world, His Highness the Amir said in his cable, wishing Beijing perpetual prosperity and development.
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable to Xi Jinping congratulating him on the success of the 19th Asian Games.
In the cable, His Highness the Crown Prince praised the distinguished capabilities provided by the People’s Republic of China during the organization of this major event, wishing him good health and wellness, and the Chinese people more development and prosperity.
His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah sent a cable of congratulations Sunday to the Chinese President, congratulating him on the success of the Games. The Kuwaiti delegation wrapped up its participation in the 19th Asian Games, held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, with a total of 11 impressive medals. Their final achievement came during the closing ceremony when the national karate team secured a bronze medal in the team kata competition. The Kuwaiti flag was proudly raised at the ceremony by karate player Abdullah Shaaban.
On the last day of the competition, Kuwait had two representatives in action. Dalal Al-Saeed exited the under-50 kg kumite competition after being defeated in the round of 16 by the highly-ranked Japanese competitor, Miyahara. Meanwhile, the karate trio of Sayed Muhammad Al-Moussawi, Sayed Salman Al-Moussawi, and Muhammad Hussein secured third place in the team kata competition. This final medal added to Kuwait’s total count of 11 colored medals, including three golds, four silvers, and an equal number of bronzes.
Jaber Al-Hammad, the technical director of the karate team, commended the outstanding performance of the national karate team over the last three days of the tournament. Four of Kuwait’s 11 medals were won by karate athletes, including Fahad Al-Ajmi’s gold, Abdullah Shaaban’s silver, and Syed Salman Al-Moussawi’s bronze, along with the bronze in the Kata team event. Al-Hammad expressed his immense satisfaction with the players’ exceptional dedication and their commitment to representing Kuwait with honor.
Impressive Representation in West Asia
The 19th Asian Games saw a remarkable presence of Arab countries in Western Asia, with notable achievements in specific disciplines that can serve as a strong foundation for future competitions. At the Olympic Games in Paris, Bahrain excelled in athletics, the UAE in jiu-jitsu, Saudi Arabia in equestrianism, and Qatar in handball and beach volleyball.
Kuwait’s standout performance in the Asian Championships was particularly noticeable in the field of shooting. Abdullah Al-Rashidi secured gold in the individual skeet competition, achieving a perfect score of 60 out of 60 in the final round. Additionally, he earned silver in the mixed team skeet event alongside his teammate Iman Al-Shamaa. The Kuwaiti trap team, composed of Khaled Al-Mudhaf, Talal Al-Rashidi, and Abdul-Rahman Al-Faihan, clinched a silver medal with a score of 359 points, narrowly missing gold by just two points behind the Indian team.
The Asian Games closed their 16-day run on Sunday at the 80,000-seat Olympic Sports Center Stadium with host nation China again in command as Premier Li Qiang ended a show aimed partly at winning the hearts of Asian neighbors.
They’re officially called the Asian Games, but the more accurate description would be the “China Games,” illustrative of the country’s four-decade domination of the continental, multi-sports championships.
The 19th Asian Games – they began in 1951 in New Delhi, India – were a celebration for Hangzhou, a city of 10 million, the headquarters of Alibaba, and a sprawling metropolis overshadowed by an even larger metropolis – neighboring Shanghai.
“We have achieved the goal of streamlined, safe, and spectacular games,” spokesperson Xu Deqing said on Sunday. State media reported the spending to prepare for the games at approximately $30 billion.
Vinod Kumar Tiwari, the acting general secretary of the Olympic Council of Asia, called them “by far the largest ever Asian Games.”
The secretary general of the organizing committee, Chen Weiqiang, characterized this version of the Asian Games as a “branding” campaign for Hangzhou.
“The city of Hangzhou has been fundamentally changed,” he said. “It is fair to say the Asian Games are a key driver for the takeoff of the city.”
These were bigger than any previous Asian Games with almost 12,500 competitors. Next year’s Paris Olympics will have about 10,500, similar to the Asian Games in 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the forecast for 2026 when the games move to Nagoya, Japan.
One of the few records China didn’t break this time was its overall medal haul of 416 when the 2010 Asian Games took place in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
This time, China won 201 gold medals and 383 overall. The next two teams – Asian powers Japan and South Korea – had fewer overall medals combined than China. Of course, their combined population is about one-eighth of China’s.
Japan won 52 gold, and South Korea 42. Combined, this was less than half of China’s gold total.
Twelve of the 45 nations or territories that entered had five medals or fewer and four – Bhutan, Maldives, Yemen, and Macao – failed to win a single medal.
“How can we rate the performance of the Hangzhou Asian Games?” Wei Jizhong, the 87-year-old vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia, asked rhetorically in a news conference.
“We don’t rank Asian Games against others. But in terms of hosting games in China, let’s compare them with ourselves. I will give a 99 score. I always believe there is room for further improvement.”
The games offered all the traditional Olympic sports, and also a glimpse of one sport that’s previewing next year in Paris – breaking, or breakdancing. And another, cricket, which will be included in either the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics or in 2032 in Brisbane.
Esports was an official entry for the first time and a giant favorite. Esports is not in the Olympics yet, but the IOC is trying to figure out a way to capitalize on its mammoth revenue stream.
The games showcased so-called “mind sports” like chess and contract bridge and offered some unique entries you won’t see anywhere else in a multi-sports event: dragon boat racing, kabaddi, sepaktakraw (foot volleyball), 3×3 basketball, and roller skating.
Yasuhiro Nakamori, the acting director general for the 2026 Aichi-Nagoya Games, said Japan would build only two new venues, unwilling to splurge as it did for the recent Tokyo Olympics.
Hangzhou is reported to have built 56 sports facilities and 30 training sites as well as major infrastructure investments for the games, which were delayed a year by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nakamori said the Chinese “hardware was wonderful. We can’t pretend that kind of game. Our concept is to use existing venues.”‘
He said the two new venues that were being built were a stadium and an arena. In addition, Nagoya will use the swimming and diving venue in Tokyo built for the 2020 Olympics and will hold cycling and equestrian events near Tokyo.
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