(Asian Games) 18th Asian Games end with celebration of Indonesian cultural heritage

September 2, 2018

JAKARTA, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) — The 18th Asian Games wrapped up here in Jakarta on Sunday with a ceremony highlighting Indonesian art and cultural heritage.

Jakarta and Palembang — which lies 400 kilometers northwest of the capital — served as the co-host cities of the continental competition that began on Aug. 18 under the motto “Energy of Asia.”

Indonesia hosted 11,000 athletes from 45 nations competing for 465 gold medals in 40 sports.

The closing ceremony for the 18th Asian Games is under way at GBK Main Stadium in Jakarta on Sept. 2, 2018. (Yonhap)

The closing ceremony for the 18th Asian Games is under way at GBK Main Stadium in Jakarta on Sept. 2, 2018. (Yonhap)

 

South Korea had 809 athletes in 39 sports and took 49 gold medals to rank third in the medal table behind China (132) and Japan (75).

South Korea’s goal was to claim at least 65 gold medals and fend off Japan for second place for the sixth consecutive Asian Games. It achieved neither: 49 gold medals is South Korea’s smallest haul since 1982, and it last ranked below Japan at Hiroshima 1994.

South Korea had a slow start to the race as gold medal contenders in archery and taekwondo fell by the wayside. A strong finish in team sports, including football and baseball, wasn’t enough to get South Korea past the half-century mark.

South and North Korea competed as one in three sports — canoeing, rowing and women’s basketball — and produced four medals, including a gold by the women’s dragon boat racing team in canoeing. There were two bronze medals from canoeing, and a silver from women’s basketball.

The Koreas marched in together at the opening ceremony on Aug. 18. There wasn’t any formal parade of athletes at the closing ceremony, as the flagbearers walked in separately.

For the Koreas, two table tennis players, Suh Hyo-won of the South and Choe Il of the North, served as the co-flagbearers.

The Koreas had their first unified sports team at an international competition in table tennis at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships.

Athletes who completed their Asian Games have already left Indonesia, and only about 40 South Korean and 20 North Korean athletes were at the closing ceremony.

The next Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, China, in 2022. It will be the third Chinese city to host the competition, after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.

North Korean table tennis player Choe I (2nd from R) and South Korean table tennis player Suh Hyo-won (R) carry the Korean Unification Flag together during the closing ceremony of the 18th Asian Games at GBK Main Stadium in Jakarta on Sept. 2, 2018. (Yonhap)

North Korean table tennis player Choe I (2nd from R) and South Korean table tennis player Suh Hyo-won (R) carry the Korean Unification Flag together during the closing ceremony of the 18th Asian Games at GBK Main Stadium in Jakarta on Sept. 2, 2018. (Yonhap)

 

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