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16th Asian Games> Latest News
UPDATED: November 29, 2010
China Plays Down Record Medal Haul

China tried to put down the significance of a record haul of gold medals at the 16th Asian Games, and denied the concept of domination in Asia when top sports officials concluded the performances of the Chinese delegation on Saturday.

China won 199 gold, 119 silver and 98 bronze medals to finish first on the gold medal table for the eighth consecutive time at the 16th Asian Games on Saturday, which broke the previous record of 183 gold, 107 silver and 51 bronze medals set at the 11th Asian Games in Beijing 1990.

Duan Shijie, Chef de Mission of the Chinese Sports Delegation, said Saturday at a news conference that there is no reason to be optimistic on the results as many problems showed up during the Games.

"The Asian Games are a testing field for our preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Most of the winning results are far too low compared to the standards of the Olympics. Winning at the Asian Games has nothing to do with winning at the Olympics," Duan said.

Duan raised his concerns on specific events like archery, fencing, wrestling, canoeing, track and field and etc., which might be the main force for China to collect gold medals at London.

"The team events were disappointing. The men's and women's soccer, as well as men's volleyball team finished with one of the worst Asian Games performances this time. The poor performances of men's handball and baseball showed that we have a long way to go," Duan added.

China lost 3-0 to Japan on the opener of the men's soccer competition on November 8, and were stopped by South Korea in the quarter finals. The women's team lost twice to South Korea and once to Japan, finishing without a medal for the first time in the Asiad history.

The men's team finished the worst-ever fifth in the volleyball competition, and seventh in the men's handball.

"The Guangzhou version of Asian Games has more events than ever. This is one of the reasons China finished with so many gold medals," Cai Jiadong, secretary-general of the Chinese delegation said.

Among the 198 gold medals China won at the Guangzhou Asiad, 74 came from non-Olympic sports, Cai said.

"The gold medals are not the proof of the domination of China in Asia. As a matter of fact, more and more countries and regions won medals at the Asiad. India and South Korea have made rapid development. China's performances will be the model for other countries and regions," Cai said.

The young athletes are playing the main roles in China's medal sweep at the Asiad, Duan said, as two thirds of the medals were won by those who had their first spells at the continental event.

The young athletes created as much trouble as the glory. The men's basketball team was invovled into a brawl with a Brazilian team in a warm-up match before the 16th Asian Games, while soccer goalie Wang Dalei abused fans on his twitter after his team's loss to Japan.

Duan said, "The young athletes are becoming the center piece of every national team. Some of them had showed us how good they are to represent their country and the people, while others had to learn more in the future."

(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2010)

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