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China, Korea, Japan Miss Doha Goals

Posted December. 16, 2006 08:03,   


China dominated the 15th Asian Games in Doha, winning 164 gold medals, about three times more than Korea’s 58 and Japan’s 50 ones.

However, China seems to be a bit disappointed. Aiming to show it is one of the top class countries in sports in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China is striving to play shoulder to shoulder with other leading countries not in Asia, but in the world.

In this respect, China’s performance in the 2006 Asian Games is evaluated to be less than expected in some areas despite its dominance.

China made one world record in shooting and six in weight lifting. It belongs to world top class in shooting, weight lifting, diving, table tennis, and gymnastics. Eyeing the Olympics, China wants to make better records in swimming and athletics, two areas it has been relatively weak so far. It made only one Asian record in swimming, while Park Tae-hwan (Korea) made two records.

Beijing Radio International reporter Jin Taizen said, “People are a bit disappointed because there was no record in swimming and we lost in soccer. China is interested in how many gold medals it can win in the Olympics. Our performance in such areas as swimming and athletics, in which you have to make records to win, was disappointing.”

Korea was second to China, as it aimed to. However, the number of Korea’s gold medals is much less than 70, the original goal. Korea was crushed in some sports and failed to overcome its weaknesses in basic areas. Its ability to compete with world sports leaders is not likely to improve much.

A player in shooting, in which Korea made poor performances, said, “We don’t have as much support as before and fewer players as the prospects of making money get worse. There is even a possibility of sudden collapse after aged players retire.”

Team chief Jeong Hyeon-sook said, “The most urgent problem is we don’t have players.” It is pointed out Korea may be at the stage of decline with less support for elite sports.

Korea also made poor performance in ball-oriented sports despite pro league players’ participation. Jung said, “Professional players did not play well this time. We need to discuss whether their participation in the Asian Games is a good idea.”

Japan is planning to put more efforts in the next Asian Games. Team chief Hayashi Tatsumi said, “We are satisfied with 50 gold medals, which is more than what we won in the Asian Games in Busan.” However, Japanese people think differently. Kyodo Communications reporter Matsumura Kei said, “People are not very satisfied since we came after Korea. Our best players did not participate. December is a break time for players in Japan. They didn’t want to participate in the Asian Games.”

However, Japan is evaluating its focus on experimenting with young players was rewarding.