The year 2018 is indeed turning out to be one of the most exciting years for sports for us. There’s literally been something for all types of sports fans! While Europe was in the spotlight with a superb show of sportsman spirit at FIFA, it’s time for Asian countries to take centre stage at the Asian Games. Asian Games is a multi-sport event that takes place every four years, and the 2018 games will be hosted by Indonesia from the 18th August to 2nd September. The events will take place in two cities – Jakarta and Palembang. The earlier version of the games took place in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
Did You Know?
India and Japan are the only two countries that have won a medal at every Asian Game. Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Thailand are the other five countries which have participated in every Asiad.
As proud Indians, we must support and encourage our sportsmen in every possible way and sometimes it is as easy as just cheering them on! Asian Games are second to only Olympics when it comes to grandeur and recognition, and offer a huge platform for our hardworking athletes. You will be surprised to know that our connection with these games is rooted in history as well. An Indian even played a crucial part in the formation of the governing body of the original Asiads.
Few stories which are going to unfold in this Asian Games
A brief history of Asian Games
India is one of the first five founding members of the Asian Games Federation, and its founder, Guru Dutt Sondhi, played a key role in starting the games. On the 13th of February, 1949, the organization came into being and the first Asian Games were hosted by India in the year 1951. The organization was later dissolved in 1982, to be replaced by the Olympic Council of Asia. All the 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia are eligible for the games. The council has organized the games since the year 1982.
India has not just competed, but also won at least one gold medal at every Asian Games! We are part of the South Asian Zone in the Asiad, as the games are commonly known as. The Indian Olympic Association is the regulatory body for the Indian contingent at the Asian Games.
Over the years, Athletics has brought home the most gold medals. After 1951, we hosted the games again in 1982 and went on to meet the medal tally of 13 gold medals, 19 silver medals, and 25 bronze medals, to finish fifth in the overall table.
In the last 17 Asian Games, India, unfortunately, disappointed us once at the Asian Games. That was the year 1990, Beijing, China hosted the games. We could win just win just 1 gold medal in kabaddi. The kabaddi team though has turned out to be one of our strongest teams since then.
Other than the one setback, we have continued winning laurels in various games throughout the history of the games, rest the medal tally will give a clearer picture.
India’s Historical Medal Tally
|Number of Games||Gold Medals||Silver Medals||Bronze Medals||Total|
India at Asian Games 2018
The Indian federation has selected a contingent of 541 athletes for the Asian Games 2018. The Indian Olympic Association had set up criteria for selecting top six in individual events and top eight in team sports. The athletes will represent India in 36 sports, namely – Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Bowling, Canoe-Kayak (Sprint), Canoe-Kayak (Slalom), Cycling, Equestrian, Fencing, Gymnastics, Golf, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Karate, Kurash, Pencak Silat, Roller Skating, Rowing, Sailing, Sambo, Sepaktakraw, Shooting, Squash, Aquatics – Swimming, Aquatics – Diving, Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Soft Tennis, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Wushu. The contingent has been selected keeping the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in mind. India is a powerhouse when it comes to Athletics, so it’s no surprise that we have most representatives from there!
Put Your Bets On…
- The Indian kabaddi team is on a high after winning the recently concluded Kabaddi Masters Dubai 2018. They could create history by winning their 8th consecutive gold! Even the women’s team isn’t behind, as gold will take their tally to 3 consecutive gold medals.
- The athletics team will aim to take its tally higher than the 2014 count of 13 medals, 2 out of which were gold. Look out for Hima Das, whose gold at World U20 Championships has captured the imagination of the entire nation.
- Dipa Karmakar is a prominent name in the gymnastics squad and though we will miss the Produnova, we have high hopes from her.
- The boxing squad has 7 men and 3 women, Shiva Thapa and Sarjubala standing out among them.
- Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat are all set to win laurels in wrestling.
- We can’t wait to see P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal fiercely lead the Badminton squad to glory!
- The football team has also got the nod from the Indian Olympic Association after national coach Stephen Constantine appealed to the government. The team will be all set to prove themselves as their entry in the contingent was much deliberated.
- We are hopeful about medals in shooting, tennis, archery, squash and field hockey.
The view will definitely be old as well as new challenges, and some really tough competition out there to test the spirit of our fighters. The stage is all set and it will be exciting to see them fight for glory!
The games are a huge platform for our athletes, and this is the test for their hopes and dreams . The biggest support every Indian can offer them is by cheering them, as they overcome hurdles and bring laurels. The D-day is coming near and preparations are in full swing. Let’s shower our love and keep faith in the ones who will make our nation immensely proud!