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‘Asian Games won’t be dominated by three countries’


Guangzhou: Japan’s Asian Games delegation chief Noriyuki Ichihara feels that with countries like India emerging on the international sports scene, the 16th edition here will no longer be dominated by three countries — China, Republic of Korea and Japan.

“Not only China, Japan and South Korea, but other countries such as India and ASEAN nations have shown significant improvement in sports, so the three countries’ dominance might be a talk of the past,” Ichihara was quoted as saying in China Daily.

Japan will participate in all 42 sports, including non-Olympic ones, and 476 medal events are to be played over the 15-day period from Saturday. Japan aims to reach a tally of 60 gold medals and finish second in the medal standings behind hosts China.

At the 2006 Doha Games, South Korea were second in the medal standings for the third straight Asian Games. China took home 165 gold medals.

“I am impressed with the modernised sporting facilities and venues in Guangzhou,” Ichihara said. “China successfully hosted the Beijing Olympics two years ago. We believe the Asian Games will be a great one, too.”