Date : 02 Sep 2018
Jakarta, Indonesia, September 2, 2018: China topped the Asian Games medal standings for the 10th event in a row, but 2020 Olympic hosts Japan closed the gap between the pair and Indonesia shattered their previous best as the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018 came to a close on Sunday.
The Chinese took home a total of 289 medals, with 132 golds, 92 silver and 65 bronze, to fall short of the total achieved in Incheon four years ago, when their tally hit 345 overall.
But that haul was still enough to ensure China topped the medal table ahead of Japan, with Korea Republic slipping to third and hosts Indonesia taking fourth.
Victory for Japan’s Mixed Relay team in the Triathlon in Palembang on Sunday morning was the country’s 75th gold medal from a total of 205 medals, with the Japanese also securing 56 silvers and 74 bronze.
Both the number of gold medals and the total medal haul was an improvement for Japan on the 2014 Asian Games, when the Japanese won 47 golds in a medal total of 200 to finish in third place behind China and hosts Korea Republic in the overall table.
Japan’s preparations for the Olympic Games, which will be hosted by Tokyo in two years’ time, appear to be on track, with swim queen Rikako Ikee scooping a total of eight medals in the pool, including six golds, while the country’s hockey teams won both the men’s and women’s events.
Korea Republic had to make do with a third place finish on the standings, with the country claiming many of the headlines as their Men’s Football team defeated Japan 2-1 in extra-time to secure an emotional gold medal win at Pakan Sari Stadium on Saturday evening.
Hosts Indonesia had an Asiad to remember with a record-shattering 31 golds in a total medal haul of 98, with Pencak Silat yielding a remarkable 14 golds, while Jonatan "Jojo" Christie won an attention-grabbing gold in the Men’s Singles in the Badminton.
The host nation finished fourth in the overall standings having also excelled in Sport Climbing, with three golds in the Speed Climbing discipline and their total medal haul left their previous best of 11 golds, 12 silver and 28 bronze – achieved when Jakarta hosted the Games in 1962 – in the distance.
In total, 37 nations won medals at the 18th Asian Games, with the Unified Korea team claiming their first-ever title when they powered to victory in the Women’s 500m Traditional Boat Race in the Canoeing in Palembang.
The gold was celebrated with an emotional rendition of the traditional Korean song ‘Arirang’ on the podium and headlined a performance that saw the combined squad secure four medals – there was also a silver in the Women’s Basketball and two bronze in Canoeing – as Unified Korea finished 28th on the medal table.
Syria, meanwhile, managed to find their way on to the medal ladder thanks to high jumper Majd Eddin Ghzal’s bronze medal finish in the Athletics.
By Michael Church, OCA
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