By: Kanthi D Suresh (Editor-in-Chief Power Sportz)
The Chinese and the Japanese have been the only two Asian nations who have consistently topped the medal table at the Asian Games. Japan was on top in the first eight editions, while their Chinese counterparts have finished first in the nine versions since 1982 Asian games. A not very far away third in the race for overall standings is South Korea. China, till date has a total of 1473 gold medals, Japan a close second with 1032 gold, and South Korea with 745 gold.
Not surprisingly, China, Japan and South Korea have seen consistent performance at the Summer Olympics as well. But what one needs to notice is the rise of smaller countries on the medal tally. Countries like Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, seem to be quietly rising and also maintaining a consistency in performance, and that is a sign that India needs to keep track of, says Kanthi D Suresh, Editor-in-Chief, Power Sportz. It’s the top ten slot that flashes on any medal tally in the first glance, and with the rise of these other countries in Middle East and Central Asia, slipping out of that top 10 slot is something that no country can take lightly, feels Kanthi.
A look at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 editions of Asian games have also seen countries like Chinese Taipei, Qatar, Indonesia, Thailand edge its position on the medal tally, giving a couple of tense moments to India’s position. India performed its best in 2018 with a record number of 16 gold medals, the highest in its Asian games history, but it came with an overall ranking of 8 on the medal tally. That’s the part that we should keep our focus on, feels Kanthi D Suresh, because at the end of the day, it’s a competition and there will always be a comparative analysis.
In the 2018 edition, Indonesia rose up to a rank of 4, certainly benefitting from a home advantage, but it was Chinese Taipei that steadily climbed up to the number 7 position, with Kazakhstan, close on the heels of India with the same number of gold medals but falling one rank short at number 9, on account of having fewer silver on the tally, albeit more bronze.
India’s medal tally at the Asian games should definitely be a reflection of India’s dominance on the World map and the clout that it seems to be enjoying as an emerging super power in the eyes of many Powerful countries, in the recent past
India, with its current focus on sports and the Government boost for the same, should be able to go past the other smaller Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries to be closer to the top of the medal tally, and a high ranking on the Asian games medal tally is definitely a measure of India’s soft power, according to Kanthi D Suresh, who has anchored the Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth games for India, for many years.