Simply the best
Hangzhou Asiad smashes expectations, setting a new standard for the continental sporting jamboree
Hailed as "one of the best ever", the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou has been highly praised.
"Technically, we have had one of the best Asian Games ever. The standard of the Games has been very, very high," said Vinod Kumar Tiwari, acting director general of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
"We have about 12,000 athletes participating in the Games. The number of officials and the technical officials is 4,975 and 4,700, respectively, and over 12,000 media personnel have attended. This by far has been the biggest and the largest Asian Games ever," Tiwari said.
Tiwari further pointed out that the coverage of the Games from TV and the written media is also among the highest ever in the history of the Asian Games. "The basketball last night (Saturday) attracted almost 17 million TV viewers."
The Asiad has produced a total of 478 gold medals in various events, which saw 15 world records broken, 28 Asian records renewed, and 150 Asian Games records bettered, according to Xu Deqing, chief spokesperson of Hangzhou Asian Games and the director of the organizing committee's press and public relations department.
"We have achieved the most successful Asian Games in history," said Chen Weiqiang, executive secretary general of the organizing committee.
"This edition of the Asiad has integrated Hangzhou's rich historical heritage, surging innovation, vitality and distinct value pursuit into various aspects, creating a unique Asian Games brand."
Chen said the Asiad has also perfectly combined art and technology, showcasing the beauty of Hangzhou's landscapes and technological confidence to the world.
"It can be said that Hangzhou Asian Games is an important opportunity for the city to 'take off'."
"And the existing venues will also qualify to host other large-scale international tournaments, as well as the Olympics," Chen added.
Wei Jizhong, honorary life vice-president of the OCA, said: "The success of the Asian Games has provided the council with an opportunity to establish basic criteria for future Asian Games.
"We don't rank Games against one another on which was the best. But, in terms of the Games in China, I give it a mark of 99. Why 99? There is always room for improvement."
Wei further pointed out that over 60 percent of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participating in the Asian Games have won gold medals, while 85 percent have reached the podium.
"I also want to thank the volunteers for their effective work, day and night, which brought the Asian Games to a successful conclusion.
"In addition, due to venue restrictions, some spectators have cheered on athletes on the large screen outside the venue without tickets. I have participated in many Olympic and Asian Games, but the audience at Hangzhou Asian Games impressed me the most," Wei pointed out.
More than three million tickets had been sold as of Saturday, generating more than 600 million yuan ($82.5 million) in revenue, according to Mao Genhong, chief spokesperson of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
"We have seen good attendances. The Games have had a prosperous social economic impact and are showing the prosperity of the sports sector," Mao said.