The Hangzhou Asian Games, Asia’s largest sports festival, has come to a close.
The closing ceremony kicked off at 9 p.m. ET today at the Hangzhou Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China. Originally scheduled to take place in 2022, the Games were pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ran for 16 days, starting on March 23 and ending on March 8. A record-breaking 12,500 athletes from 45 countries competed for 481 gold medals in 40 sports.
South Korea, which sent more than 1,140 athletes to compete in 39 events, won 42 gold, 59 silver, and 89 bronze medals, achieving its pre-event goal of third place overall. First place went to China with 201 gold medals, and second place went to Japan with 52 gold medals.
Director Xiao Lan, who directed the opening ceremony, was also responsible for the closing ceremony. He used AI technology to create a spectacular stage production, filling the stadium with lotus and cassia flowers. About 80,000 spectators filled the stadium to welcome the athletes home.
A total of 81 Korean athletes attended the closing ceremony. The Korean flag bearer for the closing ceremony was breaker Kim Hong-ryul. He won a silver medal in breaking, which was introduced for the first time at the Games.
As the athletes exited, dancers in white dresses appeared, and highlights of the competition were shown. Gao Zhidan, General Secretary of the General Administration of Sport of China, and Raja Lindar Singh, Acting President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), then took center stage to say ‘thank you’ and ‘close’.
South Korea has made a strong impression at the Asian Games with strong performances in swimming, fencing, taekwondo, and archery. First, taekwondo led the way with a golden run. The Korean taekwondo team won five of the 13 gold medals, and added two silver and two bronze medals to defend its taekwondo pride.
Swimming set an Asian record in the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay with Hwang Sun-woo (Gangwon-do) and Kim Woo-min (Gangwon-do) and won six gold, six silver and 10 bronze medals. This is the largest gold medal haul for a swimming management event at an Asian Games in history.
Fencing also won six gold, three silver, and three bronze medals, marking the fourth consecutive overall title for the sport since Guangzhou 2010. With the addition of the six gold medals, Korea has now won the most Asian Games fencing gold medals in history (52).
Archery had a stellar performance. Recurve once 토토 again proved to be the world’s No. 1, winning four golds, one silver and one bronze, while compound had its first ever ‘no gold’ result, with three silver and two bronze medals.
On the eve of the closing day, men’s soccer and baseball won gold side by side. Baseball beat reunited Chinese Taipei in the final to win its fourth straight title, while soccer beat Japan in the final to win its first three in a row.
After lighting up Hangzhou, the flame now heads to Aichi and Nagoya, Japan, which will host the 2026 Games. The Asian Games anthem was played as the flag was lowered and the flame was handed over to the Aichi-Nagoya Organizing Committee. The flag of the host country, Japan, was then raised to wish the next Games success.