China, Once Again, Dominates Asian Games Medals

(ATR) China sets the mark for Asian Games success. Ed Hula III reports from Jakarta.

(ATR) The sun rising in the east, setting in the west. Each seem as guaranteed as Asian Games success for China.

From aquatics to wushu to canoeing to mountain biking with plenty of sports in between, seemingly no country can stop China’s ability to win gold medals in Jakarta.

At the time of writing, China has 151 medals, nearly 50 percent more than Japan currently sitting at second on the Asian Games medal table. The second, third and fourth most successful countries at Jakarta 2018, Japan, South Korea and Iran respectively, have combined to win 68 gold medals.

China has already won that many.

But in the end, China might not exceed it’s medal total from the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. China won 342 medals at those Games.

Around the Rings asked multiple Asian Games NOCs for comment on competing against China, all declined.

China’stop-of-the-medal-table streak started at the 1982 Asian Games in in Delhi. There China and Japan both earned 152 medals but China earned more gold medals.

Veteran Asian Games journalist Rohit Brijnath of the Singapore Straits Times newspaper says because China so routinely outclasses it’s opponents, other countries’ successes become even sweeter.

"For a lot of smaller countries, the value of one medal is huge," he said.

"There’s always countries that dominate. I feel happy when nations that don’t normally medal, do."

Brijnath, covering his fifth Asian Games, says he is "a romantic" and wishes there was "a medal table of good stories" instead of a medal table.

"Everyone is doing the best they can. Sport has a different place in different cultures. Some countries are struggling with other things."

The Asian Games conclude Sept. 2.

Coverage of the 18th Asian Games is made possible in part by the Olympic Council of Asia

Reported in Jakarta by Ed Hula III.