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Asian Games close with China dominant as never before

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, November 28, 2010
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The largest ever Asian Games lowered its curtain in a festive ceremony on Saturday night as host China showed its overwhelming prowess by sweeping 199 gold medals.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, hailed the Guangzhou Asiad "a huge success" and "one of the most outstanding" in history.

"This edition of the Games has been, without a doubt, one of the most outstanding in the history of the event," the Asian Olympic chief said before declaring the Games closed.

"Ten thousand athletes from 45 countries and regions in Asia have competed against each other in 53 first-class venues," he said. "These sportsmen and women are at the top of their sport and are fitting ambassadors of the Olympic Movement in Asia.

"I would now like to thank the Chinese government, the Chinese people and everyone from Asia and around the world for helping make the 16th Asian Games the best Asian Games ever."

The closing ceremony, held at Haixinsha Island in the Pearl River, saw the official handover from Guangzhou to Incheon, South Korea.

China, which also won 119 silver and 98 bronze, 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 South Korea bagging 232 medals including 76 gold, beating Japan into a distant third with 48 gold among 216 medals.

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

China's third largest city invested a staggering 120 billion yuan (about 17.9 billion U.S. dollars) in projects including stadiums, roads and subway lines.

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.

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